US Army Sergeant Daniel Perry has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for the murder of Garrett Foster at a Black Lives Matter (BLM) demonstration in Austin, Texas in 2020. The defense had requested a sentence of 10 years because of Perry's personal circumstances.
US Army Sergeant Daniel Perry has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for the murder of Garrett Foster at a Black Lives Matter (BLM) demonstration in Austin, Texas in 2020. The defense had requested a sentence of 10 years because of Perry's personal circumstances.1
On July 25, 2020, Perry, an Uber driver, turned onto a street during a BLM demonstration and ran a red light before stopping his vehicle. Foster, carrying a legal rifle, was among multiple protesters who approached the vehicle, at which point authorities claim Perry rolled down his window and shot Foster five times before driving off and calling 911.2
Foster attended the July 25 protest while Perry was driving. Per investigators, Perry stopped and honked at the protesters. Seconds later, he drove his car into the crowd according to police. Both Perry and Foster are white men.3
Text messages and social media posts excluded from the trial but revealed at sentencing showed Perry expressing a desire to shoot looters and compare BLM protesters to "animals at the zoo." The defense asked the judge to take into consideration his 10 years of military service and testimony from a forensic psychologist who diagnosed Perry with post-traumatic stress disorder and other conditions.4
Conservative commentators have maintained that Perry acted in self-defense, with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott promising to pardon Perry as soon as it "hits my desk" and high-profile right-wing figures from Tucker Carlson to Kyle Rittenhouse arguing in his defense. Abbott cannot issue a pardon without a recommendation from the state Board of Pardons and Paroles, whose members he appoints.5
Abbott stated that Perry's actions were justified under Texas's "stand your ground" laws and could not be abrogated by a "jury or progressive district attorney." Perry's lawyers are appealing the conviction and cooperating with the state pardon procedure.6
Democratic narrative, as provided by Texas Monthly. Daniel Perry is a violent man who overtly fantasized about shooting peaceful protesters. Although the evidence of his guilt is overwhelming, as a conviction affirmed, conservatives are using him as a political prop to justify vigilante justice and their animus against those protesting for civil rights. Abbott pardoning Perry would trample on the rule of law and further show that the GOP's commitment to "law and order" is wholly fraudulent.
Republican narrative, as provided by FOX News. A Democratic district attorney subjected Daniel Perry to legal hell to make an example out of anyone who challenges the narrative of "peaceful" BLM protests. Perry had mere seconds to react in a life-or-death situation, and the attorney general is more concerned about protecting the rights of a lawless mob than those of a law-abiding citizen. The right to self-defense is inalienable, and Abbott needs to step in to untangle this miscarriage of justice against an innocent man.