Posted on May 17, 2024

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott Pardons Man Who Killed BLM Protester

Elizabeth Findell, New York Times, May 16, 2024

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a full pardon Thursday to a man convicted of murdering a Black Lives Matter protester in the state’s capital city in 2020.

Daniel Perry, a former Army sergeant, was sentenced to 25 years in prison last year for killing Garrett Foster, a 28-year-old Air Force veteran.

The killing followed weeks of Perry sending messages to friends discussing shooting protesters and sharing racist sentiments, according to court evidence, in the wake of the May 2020 murder of George Floyd and the nationwide protests that followed. Perry told police that he believed Foster, who was legally carrying an AK-47-style rifle, had aimed the gun in his direction.

Perry’s conviction drew the attention of conservative commentators including Tucker Carlson, who said Perry had acted in self-defense and called for Abbott to pardon him. The following day, Abbott, a Republican, vowed to do so and sent an unprecedented request to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, which must recommend action. Abbott had never made such a request before, and Texas legal observers couldn’t remember a comparable action by previous governors.

The board, which is appointed by the governor, voted unanimously to recommend the pardon and Abbott did so immediately, he said in a news release.

“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 in the release.


The shooting occurred on July 25, 2020, as demonstrators marched down Austin’s most iconic street, Congress Avenue, blocks from the state capitol. Perry, who was working as an Uber driver, drove up to the group of protesters and opened fire after a confrontation with Foster, a well-known local social-justice activist {snip}