Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said on Saturday that he wants to pardon a U.S. Army sergeant who was convicted of murder in the 2020 shooting death of an armed protester during nationwide protests against police violence and racial injustice.
Abbott wrote on Twitter that the state constitution says he can only pardon someone if the state Board of Pardons and Paroles recommends it. He is asking the board to recommend a pardon and move quickly on his request so that Sgt. Daniel Perry can be freed.
“I look forward to approving the board’s pardon recommendation as soon as it hits my desk,” Abbott wrote.
A Travis County jury found Perry guilty on Friday of killing 28-year-old Garrett Foster with a gun during a protest in Austin. He could get a sentence of up to life in prison.
José Garza Did Not Answer the Phone
Abbott said, “Texas has one of the strongest “Stand Your Ground” laws that can’t be overturned by a jury or a liberal District Attorney.”
On Saturday, the office of District Attorney José Garza did not answer the phone when it was called.
Perry’s lawyers said that he shot Foster in self-defense because Foster was coming up to Perry’s car with an AK-47. Prosecutors said Perry could have driven away before firing his gun, and witnesses said Foster never pointed his rifle at Perry.
Perry, who was charged in 2021, was stationed at Ft. Hood about 70 miles (112.5 km) north of Austin in July 2020, when he was driving for a ride-sharing company and drove into a large group of protesters in downtown Austin.
In a live Facebook video, you can hear a car horn before you hear several gunshots and people screaming and running away.
When Foster was killed, protesters in Austin and all over the country had been marching for weeks after the police killed George Floyd.
Floyd died on May 25, 2020, after a police officer in Minneapolis held his knee against the neck of the Black man for more than nine minutes. Floyd kept saying that he couldn’t breathe while he was handcuffed.
Floyd’s death was caught on video by a bystander, which led to protests all over the world as part of a larger movement against racism.
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