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Texas governor pardons man convicted of murder of Black Lives Matter protestor

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has pardoned U.S. Army Sergeant Daniel Perry, who was convicted of murdering a protester at a Black Lives Matter rally in 2020. Perry, 37, was sentenced to 25 years in prison in April 2023 for the shooting of Garrett Foster on July 25, 2020.

Published May 17,2024

Texas's Republican governor pardoned a US Army sergeant on Thursday who was convicted of murder for shooting a protester during a Black Lives Matter rally in 2020.

Daniel Perry, 37, was convicted in April 2023 of the July 25, 2020 murder of Garrett Foster and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles voted unanimously on Thursday to recommend a full pardon for Perry and Governor Greg Abbott issued one.

During Perry's eight-day trial, the jury heard conflicting testimony about what occurred between Perry and Foster, a US Air Force veteran.

Perry, a part-time Uber driver, said he was driving through the Texas capital Austin when he turned into a street full of demonstrators protesting the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Perry drove into the crowd trying to get through and was confronted by Foster, a 28-year-old white man, who was legally carrying an AK-47 rifle.

Perry, who is also white, said he feared for his life and opened fire with a handgun he was legally carrying.

Perry's lawyers said the state's "Stand Your Ground" law justified his action and Abbott cited the law in his pardon proclamation.

"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," the governor said.

Whitney Mitchell, Foster's fiancee, condemned Abbott's decision in a statement to the Houston Chronicle newspaper.

"With this pardon, the Governor has desecrated the life of a murdered Texan, impugned that jury's just verdict, and declared that citizens can be killed with impunity as long as they hold political views that are different from those in power," Mitchell said.

"Stand Your Ground" laws have been highly controversial, particularly since a Florida jury in 2013 acquitted George Zimmerman of murdering an unarmed Black teen, Trayvon Martin, whom Zimmerman had pursued based on unfounded suspicions.