Texas Governor Abbott Pardons Convicted Killer of Black Lives Matter Protestor

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By The Vanguard Staff

AUSTIN, TX – A man convicted of shooting to death a Black Lives Matter demonstrator in the summer of 2020 was pardoned Thursday by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas—Abbot, according to a New York Times story, was “fulfilling a promise he made last year amid pressure from conservatives.”

Abbott pardoned Daniel S. Perry, who said he acted in self-defense against the protester. Earlier this week, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, appointed by the governor, recommended the pardon.

Perry was sentenced to 25 years in prison in an “emotional hearing last year in which prosecutors presented evidence of racist online comments he had made and said that psychological experts had found him to be ‘basically a loaded gun,’” wrote the NY Times.

“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,” said Abbott, adding, “I thank the board for its thorough investigation, and I approve their pardon recommendation.”

The family of the protestor, Garrett Foster, a 28-year-old former U.S. Air Force mechanic, was shocked, suggested the Times.

“It doesn’t make sense. I feel like I’m in a ‘Twilight Zone’ episode. This doesn’t happen,” Foster’s mother, Sheila, said in a telephone interview with the NY Times, adding, “It seems like this is some kind of a political circus and it’s costing me my life.”

Foster’s mother said she is moving out of state, wrote the NY Times, noting, “I will not live here. I will not live somewhere where they say that is OK.”

“Her son was a supporter of the Second Amendment,” the Times noted, quoting the mother as saying, “He deserved so much better. He was an Air Force veteran. He was out there protecting people from people like Perry.”

During the trial, “prosecutors showed evidence before the shooting of Mr. Perry’s animosity toward protesters on social media,” the NY Times wrote, adding, “The jury reviewed video of the July 25 confrontation during their deliberations, according to an alternate juror, and considered the self-defense argument. But jurors ultimately voted to convict.”

The NY Times added, “The governor used his official pardon proclamation to attack the district attorney (José Garza)…Mr. Garza had not sought to see justice done but instead ‘demonstrated unethical and biased misuse of his office in prosecuting Daniel Scott Perry.’”

“District Attorney Garza directed the lead detective investigating Daniel Scott Perry to withhold exculpatory evidence from the grand jury considering whether to report an indictment,” Abbott wrote, said the NY Times, adding Abbot claimed “An Austin police detective who had worked on the case accused Mr. Garza of withholding evidence that could have helped Mr. Perry.”

Garza, a Democrat, is currently facing a proceeding that could remove him from office under a new law signed by the governor aimed at limiting the discretion of local prosecutors—similar to what has allowed Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to oust local DAs.

In a statement, Garza, the Times reports, said the governor and the pardons board had “made a mockery of our legal system” and that they “should be ashamed of themselves.”

“They have sent a message to Garrett Foster’s family, to his partner and to our community that his life does not matter,” Garza wrote. “They have sent the message that the service of the Travis County community members who served on the grand jury and trial jury does not matter.”

The NY Times reported, “Abbott, in explaining Mr. Perry’s pardon, said that Mr. Perry had feared for his life after his car was ‘immediately surrounded by aggressive protesters who rushed to obstruct, strike, pound, smash and kick his vehicle’ and that Mr. Foster ‘brandished a Kalashnikov-style rifle in the low-ready firing position.’”

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