Texas Governor Pardons Man Sentenced to 25 Years for Killing Black Lives Matter Protester

Gov. Greg Abbott had long signaled that he was in support of a pardon for the man, who has now been released from custody.

Video via FOX 7 Austin

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Video via FOX 7 Austin

Daniel Perry, who was previously sentenced to 25 years behind bars for fatally shooting a protester, has been granted a pardon by Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

In a statement, Gov. Abbott, following the recommendations of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, pointed to the state’s Stand Your Ground laws as being among the "strongest" in the nation.

"The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles conducted an exhaustive review of U.S. Army Sergeant Daniel Perry’s personal history and the facts surrounding the July 2020 incident and recommended a Full Pardon and Restoration of Full Civil Rights of Citizenship," Abbott said Thursday. "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."

Last year, Perry, a white man, alleged that he had acted in self-defense when he fatally shot Garrett Foster, also a white man, during a Black Lives Matter demonstration in the Austin area in 2020. Immediately after the 25-year sentence was handed down, Abbott signaled that he was in support of a then-potential pardon, coverage of which also included alleged racist social media posts attributed to Perry.

In one such message shared roughly a month before the deadly shooting, per an Associated Press report at the time, Perry declared himself “a racist” on Facebook.

"It is official I am a racist because I do not agree with people acting like animals at the zoo," Perry was reported to have written.

The Austin protest in question occurred in July, notably preceded by the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin, who’s now behind bars. As reported at the time, Perry was working as an Uber driver when he fatally shot Foster, 28, an Air Force vet who was legally carrying an AK-47.

In his proclamation this week, Abbott’s office cited the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, as well as self-defense language found in the Texas Constitution, arguing that Perry was acting "to eliminate a perceived threat to his safety" when he killed Foster.

Perry has since been released.

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