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Gov. Abbott pardons Daniel Perry for 2020 fatal Black Lives Matter shooting

Gov. Abbott pardons Daniel Perry for 2020 fatal Black Lives Matter shooting, sparking outrage over police violence and calls for law enforcement accountability.

Gov. Abbott pardons Daniel Perry for 2020 fatal Black Lives Matter shooting

Texas Governor Greg Abbott has sparked outrage by pardoning former US Army sergeant Daniel Perry. Perry was convicted under murder charges for shooting Air Force veteran Garrett Foster at a 2020 Black Lives Matter protest in Austin. He claimed self-defense in a case that raised questions about racial inequality, police violence, and accountability issues.

Key Takeaways

  • Gov. Greg Abbott granted a full pardon to Daniel Perry, overturning his murder conviction for fatally shooting Garrett Foster at an Austin BLM protest in 2020.
  • Perry, a former Army sergeant, claimed self-defense and was initially sentenced to 25 years in prison for the shooting.
  • The controversial pardon decision sparked outrage over perceived lack of accountability for police violence against protesters.
  • Civil rights advocates condemned the move as undermining efforts to address racial injustice and protect the sanctity of Black lives.
  • Abbott cited Texas’ “Stand Your Ground” self-defense laws in requesting an expedited review of Perry’s case prior to sentencing.

Gov. Abbott Pardons Daniel Perry for 2020 Fatal Black Lives Matter Shooting

Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas pardoned Daniel Perry on Thursday. This decision followed a unanimous recommendation from the state’s Board of Pardons and Paroles. They wanted to grant Perry a full pardon and give back his right to own a gun.

This pardon was after a thorough review of the evidence in the fatal shooting of Garrett Foster. This shooting took place at an Austin racial justice protest in 2020.

Daniel Perry, a former U.S. Army sergeant, was once given 25 years in prison. This was for the killing of Foster, who was also from the Air Force, at a rally. A key issue in the case was Perry’s self-defense claim.

Things got more intense in the texas politics around this case when Abbott spoke up. He asked for a quick review of Perry’s conviction in April 2023. He mentioned the state’s strong “Stand Your Ground” laws.

Afterwards, the board quickly recommended a full pardon. This step by the board made Abbott’s choice easier. Despite this, Abbott’s decision was not without controversy.

Daniel Perry was found guilty of murder. The possible sentence ranged from five to 99 years. The prosecution asked for at least 25 years. In contrast, Perry’s defense pushed for just 10 years. They cited his clean record and mental health issues.

During the trial, a forensic psychologist noted that Perry had complex post-traumatic stress disorder and autism spectrum disorder. This finding could have influenced his mindset because of his military service. The pardon has stirred up strong emotions. People are once more discussing police violence, racial justice, and protests for civil rights.

Sentence Range Prosecution Request Defense Request
5 to 99 years Minimum 25 years 10 years

Texas Governor Grants Pardon to Former Army Sergeant

Texas Governor Greg Abbott created a stir by pardoning Daniel Perry. Perry is a former Army sergeant. He was convicted of murdering Garrett Foster at a Black Lives Matter protest in Austin in 2020.

The decision followed a thorough look into the case by the state Board of Pardons and Paroles. All members of the board agreed on the pardon. They examined the facts of the Austin shooting case carefully.

Controversial Decision Sparks Outrage

Many, including the Texas Democratic Party chair, felt Abbott’s act was politically motivated. They claimed it weakened the justice system. Civil rights supporters and Foster’s family also spoke out against the decision.

They said it hindered the progress in holding law enforcers to account. Plus, they believed it was a setback in addressing racial bias in structural systems.

Pardon Follows Unanimous Recommendation from Pardons Board

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles gave Perry a full pardon. They said they did a deep dive into the case. Finally, they decided that he should get his right to own a gun in Texas back.

Their review included everything from police reports to eyewitness accounts. This was about the events at the civil rights protest in July 2020.

Key Facts Details
Daniel Perry Former Army sergeant convicted of murder, sentenced to 25 years in prison
Garrett Foster Air Force veteran and victim, armed with assault rifle at protest
Pardon Recommendation Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles voted unanimously in favor
Firearm Rights With pardon, Perry can legally possess firearms again in Texas

The case brought back debates on Texas politics and self-defense laws. It also raised questions on how to ensure safety at protests. This is like a mirror into many national issues about police and accountability controversies.

The Shooting: Garrett Foster Killed at Austin Protest

Garrett Foster, an Air Force veteran, was shot by Daniel Perry at an Austin protest in July 2020. This was just after George Floyd’s death fueled the Black Lives Matter movement. Perry, an ex-Army sergeant from Fort Hood, met Foster at a racial justice rally in Texas.

Perry Claimed Self-Defense After Encounter with Armed Protester

After the shooting, Perry said he acted in self-defense. He claimed he thought Foster was going to point his rifle at him. The event happened when Foster went up to Perry’s car at the Austin protest.

Prosecutors said Perry started the fight by driving into the protester crowd. But Perry’s side argued that his past traumas and autism made him feel extra threatened.

Foster’s shooting at the Black Lives Matter rally sparked national discussions. It brought up topics like racial injustice, police action, and self-defense laws, including “Stand Your Ground.”

Racial Injustice and Police Violence at the Heart of Protests

In 2020, Black Lives Matter protests erupted in Austin and nationwide. People were angry about racial injustice and police violence against Black people. These protests gained strength after police killed George Floyd in May.

Black Lives Matter Movement Gained Momentum After George Floyd’s Death

George Floyd’s death was captured on video. This started protests everywhere. People demanded justice and big changes to fight racial injustice in how the police work.

The Black Lives Matter movement became stronger. Millions took part, condemning police violence and calling for changes.

George Floyd’s death made people really mad and sad about how racial injustice and police violence hurt Black people.

The protests started because of Floyd’s death. But they grew into something bigger. They became about making big changes to the ways police treat Black people.

Perry’s Conviction and 25-Year Sentence Challenged

In April 2023, Daniel Perry’s life changed dramatically. He was found guilty of killing Garrett Foster at an Austin rally. This incident sparked nationwide debate. The daniel perry conviction came with a possible 5 to 99 years behind bars. This range shows how serious the crime was.

In the end, Perry got a 25-year sentence. This decision was heavily debated. The prosecution wanted at least 25 years in prison for Perry. But his defense argued he deserved only 10 years because of certain reasons.

Perry’s lawyers highlighted his clean record and mental health issues. They pointed out Perry’s conditions, such as complex post-traumatic stress disorder and autism. These could have affected his actions during the austin shooting.

  • Daniel Perry served prison sentence: 25 years
  • Perry faced 5 to 99 years in prison
  • Prosecution requested Perry be sentenced to at least 25 years
  • Defense requested a 10-year sentence
  • Perry diagnosed with complex post-traumatic stress disorder and autism spectrum disorder
Sentence Range Prosecution Request Defense Request Actual Sentence
5 to 99 years At least 25 years 10 years 25 years

Abbott’s Unusual Request for Expedited Review

Texas Governor Greg Abbott took an extraordinary step. He sought a fast review of the case involving Daniel Perry. Perry, a former U.S. Army sergeant, was convicted of killing an armed protester during the 2020 Black Lives Matter demonstrations. Abbott made this request just after Perry was found guilty but before his sentence was decided.

Governor Cited Strong “Stand Your Ground” Laws

Abbott defended his move by pointing to Texas’ strong self-defense laws. He said these laws should matter, regardless of what a jury or a District Attorney thinks. According to Abbott, Perry acted in self-defense, even with the jury’s decision.

But not everyone agreed with the governor’s choice for a quick review. Some saw it as a way to ignore the usual legal procedures and focus on politics instead.

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles carried out a thorough review. They looked at everything from police reports to witness statements about the shooting. After reviewing all the evidence, they all agreed that Perry should be pardoned and allowed to have his firearms rights back. This decision played a pivotal role in Abbott’s controversial choice to pardon him.

Prosecutors Argue Perry Initiated Fatal Encounter

In the austin shooting case of Garrett Foster, prosecutors claimed Daniel Perry started the deadly event. They said Perry broke a red light and drove into a crowd at the protest. This act started the situation that caused Foster’s death.

Foster, who served in the Air Force, was carrying a rifle legally. He approached Perry’s car and asked him to roll down the window. At that moment, Perry fatally shot Foster, the prosecutors’ case says.

daniel perry fatal encounter

The prosecution argued that Perry set off the fatal encounter, disputing his self-defense claim.

The trial has become widely known, sparking talks on using force, protest rights, and larger problems like racial unfairness and police responsibility.

Defense Claims Self-Defense, Cites Mental Health Issues

In a famous case that caused a stir across the nation, Daniel Perry’s legal team said he acted in self-defense. They pointed out his clean record and mental health. They claimed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and autism made him see dangers where others wouldn’t.

Complex PTSD and Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnoses

A expert in the court diagnosed Perry with complex post-traumatic stress disorder and autism. This psychologist focused on Perry’s time in the military and how it affected his mind. He said Perry was always on edge and often saw threats that weren’t really there.

Perry’s defense team argued his actions were justified as self-defense, pointing to his clean record, mental health issues, and support from military friends.

The defense team’s plan was to highlight how Perry’s service affected him. They argued that his mental health issues greatly changed how he saw the world. This viewpoint, they said, influenced his actions.

  • Perry faced between 5 and 99 years in prison for the fatal shooting of Garrett Foster at an Austin racial justice rally in 2020.
  • The prosecution emphasized Perry’s racist and inflammatory social media posts prior to the shooting, as well as his diagnosed mental disorders.
  • A forensic psychologist testified about Perry’s complex PTSD and autism spectrum disorder diagnoses during the sentencing hearing.

Political Controversy and Backlash Over Pardon

Gov. Abbott’s pardon of Daniel Perry, a former Army sergeant, who was convicted of killing Garrett Foster in a 2020 Black Lives Matter protest, has stirred a political controversy in Texas politics.

Democrats Accuse Abbott of Prioritizing Politics Over Justice

The Texas Democratic Party accuses the governor of putting politics over accountability. They say by pardoning Perry, Abbott has shown he cares more about politics than justice or law and order.

Abbott has shown he values his own political ambitions more than the lives of Texans and the rule of law. By pardoning a convicted murderer, he’s proving once again that Republicans cannot keep our communities safe or uphold law and order.

This pardon backlash has brought back discussions about law enforcement accountability and politics’ role in justice.

Civil rights advocates believe the pardon is a step back in making police more accountable. They also feel it shows little regard for Black lives.

Foster’s Family Devastated by Pardon Decision

The choice to pardon U.S. Army Sgt. Daniel Perry deeply shocked Garrett Foster’s family. They are filled with sorrow and anger.

Fiancée Speaks Out Against “Lawlessness”

Whitney Mitchell, Foster’s former fiancée, and a quadruple amputee, shared her deep pain. She called the decision “lawlessness.” Whitney said the pardon showed that Governor Abbott thinks only some lives matter. This was after he forgave the shooter who killed the man she loved.

I am heartbroken by this lawlessness. Governor Abbott has proven that only certain lives matter in Texas by making our state less safe and pardoning the man who murdered the love of my life.

Mitchell had been with Foster for ten years. She felt the pardon was wrong. It went against what justice and accountability stand for.

  • 100% of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles voted to recommend a full pardon for U.S. Army Sgt. Daniel Perry.
  • U.S. Army Sgt. Daniel Perry received a 25-year sentence for fatally shooting Garrett Foster at a BLM protest in 2020.
  • U.S. Army Sgt. Daniel Perry claimed self-defense in the shooting, though Foster was also armed during the incident.
  • The parole board recommended restoring U.S. Army Sgt. Daniel Perry’s firearm rights along with the full pardon.

Members of the parole board all agreed to recommend Perry’s pardon. They carefully looked at police reports, court documents, and what witnesses said. This included everything about the day Foster was shot during the protest in Austin.

Unsealed Documents Reveal Perry’s Racist Comments

The pardon for Perry sparked new discussions on racial injustice and holding law enforcement accountable. After his conviction, court papers showed Perry’s history of making racist comments and sharing disturbing posts online.

Messages Discussed Killing Protesters

In these documents were years of racist social media posts and messages by Perry. He made derogatory comments about different groups. Some messages were about killing protesters or “hunting for Muslims in Europe.”

White Power Memes and Offensive Language

Perry also shared white power memes and compared the Black Lives Matter movement to “monkeys.” The prosecution said these posts showed Perry’s racist beliefs. They argued it affected his actions on the night of the shooting.

The unsealed documents showed Perry’s long history of making racist and violent comments online. This included remarks about shooting looters and comments against different ethnic groups.

Perry’s lawyer called the document’s release a political move. But, it only made more people upset over Governor Abbott’s pardon.

Potential Sentence Sentence Requested Actual Sentence
5 to 99 years 10 years (Defense)
25+ years (Prosecution)
25 years

The table shows the possible sentences Perry faced for killing Garrett Foster. It also shows the different suggestions from lawyers. After everything, he got a 25-year sentence, which Governor Abbott later pardoned.

Law Enforcement Accountability and Civil Rights Implications

The pardon stirred up talks about law enforcement accountability for using too much force and tackling racial injustice. Civil rights advocates said it slowed down progress on police accountability. They felt it showed Black lives weren’t valued enough.

Many disagreed with letting Perry off the hook for killing a protester. They feared it would make police violence against minority groups worse. This move might make law enforcement use more force carelessly.

Whitney Mitchell, Garrett Foster’s former fiancée, condemned the pardon as “lawlessness” and accused Abbott of showing “only certain lives matter.”

Civil liberties groups promised to keep pushing for change against racial discrimination. They want to make sure officers face the consequences if they use deadly force unfairly. They were clear that important victories for civil rights shadows should never be darkened by letting offenders go free, especially in notable cases of minority victims.

  1. Uphold the rule of law and equal justice for all citizens
  2. Address systemic racism and biases within policing
  3. Implement rigorous accountability measures for law enforcement

Texas Politics and Pardons and Clemency Process

In Texas politics, the topic of pardons and clemency often sparks heated debates. This is due to the major role the governor’s authority plays. A recent pardon by Governor Greg Abbott has again brought attention to this issue.

Abbott can give pardons, but not without others’ input. The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles looks into cases first. They must recommend for the governor to act.

A Delicate Balance

In Daniel Perry’s case, the Board thoroughly checked all evidence. This included police records, court reports, and witnesses’ accounts of a shooting in Austin’s 2020 protest. Their agreement led to Abbott ultimately pardoning Perry, yet the decision has sparked controversy.

Some say the pardons and clemency process is now too political. They argue that decisions are swayed by political parties and not by fair justice. Others view the governor’s role in pardoning as important. They see it as protecting against wrong decisions and supporting mercy and rehabilitation.

The debate over Perry’s pardon shows how complex Texas politics can be. The balance between power, following the law correctly, and staying answerable to the public are key areas of discussion. These topics are central in the changing world of Texas politics.

Ongoing Debates Over Self-Defense Laws and Protests

Daniel Perry’s case sparked big debates. He was pardoned for shooting Garrett Foster during a 2020 protest. The conversations have focused on the reach and use of self-defense laws, especially ones like Texas’ “Stand Your Ground.” Some believe these laws are key to self-protection rights. Others think they can lead to violence without reason and a lack of oversight.

It also brought back talks about how to balance protecting the public and civil rights during protests. Questions arise around how police can keep things calm without interfering with the right to speak freely and gather peacefully.

The pardoning of Daniel Perry has stirred intense emotions on both sides of this complex issue. We must find a way to safeguard citizens’ liberties while also upholding the rule of law and protecting the sanctity of life.

Those in favor of broad self-defense laws say they let good citizens protect themselves from real dangers without getting into legal trouble. But, opposers believe these laws are often wrongfully used. They say this can lead to making problems worse and using too much force.

  • Stricter guidelines for justified lethal force
  • Enhanced de-escalation training for law enforcement
  • Clearer boundaries for protest policing
  • Improved dialogue between communities and authorities

The discussions on these big topics keep going. The key is finding a way that values both public safety and civil rights. Achieving this goal needs everybody to talk openly and honestly.


Texas Governor Greg Abbott has sparked racial injustice concerns. This happened when Abbott pardoned Daniel Perry for killing a protester in 2020. The case involves the black lives matter shooting. It happened during a rally where Perry killed Garrett Foster in Austin.

Many people are upset by this. They include civil rights groups and the victims’ families. They say Abbott’s pardon weakens the fight against racial injustice. It also suggests that those enforcing the law might not be held accountable for their actions.

The pardoning of Perry brought many issues to light. It made people wonder if politics influences justice. It also raised questions about how some people’s lives are valued less than others. This happens especially when dealing with issues like police accountability. The incident with Perry has made people push for big changes. They want to address biases. And they want to make the justice system more trustworthy in handling civil rights.


Who is Daniel Perry and what did he do?

Daniel Perry used to serve in the U.S. Army. He shot and killed Garrett Foster at a 2020 protest in Austin, Texas. The protest was for Black Lives Matter. Perry said he acted in self-defense. He was first sentenced to 25 years for the shooting.

Why did Gov. Greg Abbott pardon Daniel Perry?

Gov. Abbott pardoned Perry after getting advice from the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles. They suggested a full pardon and returning Perry’s right to carry a gun. Abbott looked into the case because Texas has strong self-defense laws.

What was the reaction to Abbott’s decision to pardon Perry?

People were very upset when Perry was pardoned. Many felt it showed a lack of responsibility for violence by the police and for racism. Democrats accused Abbott of using this case for his own political benefits. Civil rights groups said it made it harder to hold the police accountable.

What happened at the Austin protest where Garrett Foster was killed?

In July 2020, Garrett Foster died at a protest in Austin shot by Perry. Perry thought Foster was going to aim his gun at him. Foster was legally carrying a gun.

Why were there Black Lives Matter protests in Austin and across the country in 2020?

The protests started because of the unfair treatment and violence against Black people by the police in the U.S. It gained more attention after George Floyd was killed by a police officer in May 2020.

What was Perry’s defense team’s argument for a more lenient sentence?

Perry’s lawyers wanted a shorter sentence, only ten years. They pointed out his clean record and mental health problems like PTSD and autism.

How did prosecutors argue against Perry’s self-defense claim?

Prosecutors said Perry started it all by driving his car into the protest, then shot Foster. They said Foster was just gesturing for Perry to talk.

What did unsealed court documents reveal about Perry’s past comments?

Court papers showed that Perry had made racist comments online for years. He compared Black Lives Matter activists to monkeys. He shared “white power” memes and talked about killing people protesting or Muslims in his messages.

What role does the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles play in the pardon process?

They play a key role in the pardon process. Abbott can grant pardons after their recommendation. The Board unanimously advised pardoning Perry after looking into his case.

What broader debates were reignited by Abbott’s decision to pardon Perry?

Abbott’s decision brought back talks about self-defense laws and safety at protests. It also raised issues about balancing public safety with protecting people’s rights during protests against racism.


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Last modified: May 16, 2024

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