May 16, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Gov. Greg Abbott pardons ex-U.S. sergeant who killed BLM protester

a vigil for Garrett Foster on July 26, 2020 in downtown Austin, Texas

A vigil for Garrett Foster in July 2020 in downtown Austin, Texas. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) on Thursday pardoned a former U.S. Army sergeant convicted of killing a Black Lives Matter protester in Austin in 2020.

The big picture: Daniel Perry was sentenced to 25 years in prison last year for fatally shooting U.S. Air Force veteran Garrett Foster.

  • Following Perry's conviction, Abbott announced that he has asked the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles determine if Perry should be granted a pardon.

State of play: Abbott issued a proclamation Thursday pardoning Perry after the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles issued a unanimous recommendation of full pardon.

  • "Among the voluminous files reviewed by the Board, they considered information provided by the Travis County District Attorney, the full investigative report on Daniel Perry, plus a review of all the testimony provided at trial," Abbott said in a statement.
  • "Texas has one of the strongest 'Stand Your Ground' laws of self-defense that cannot be nullified by a jury or a progressive District Attorney," Abbott said.
  • He thanked the board for its "thorough investigation."

Between the lines: Perry's case had gained significant attention from influential conservative voices like Tucker Carlson.

  • "Americans across the country have been watching this case in Texas and praying for justice after BLM riots terrorized the nation in 2020. Our right to self-defense is enshrined in the Constitution," Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton wrote on X Thursday.

Flashback: Perry had driven into a crowd of demonstrators in downtown Austin protesting police violence. He later shot and killed Foster, who was legally armed with an AK-47 rifle.

  • While Perry argued during trial he acted in self-defense, the prosecution argued that Perry had instigated the incident.

Go deeper: Daniel Perry sentenced to 25 years for BLM protest murder

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