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Texas Governor Pardons Former US Army Sergeant Convicted of Murdering Armed BLM Protester – JURIST

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott pardoned former U.S. Army Sergeant Daniel Perry on Thursday after the Texas Parole Board unanimously recommended a pardon for the ex-soldier responsible for killing armed protester Garrett Foster at a Black Lives Matter event Matter demonstration in Austin in 2020.

The case gained national attention when Perry claimed he shot Foster in self-defense after the protester approached his car with an AK-47 that he was openly carrying. However, the prosecution argued that Perry ran a red light and drove into the crowd as he approached and had the opportunity to drive away to avoid the confrontation. Perry was sentenced to 25 years in prison last year.

The Texas Parole Board said it “conducted a careful review of relevant documents, from police reports to court records, witness statements and interviews with people associated with the case” before making its decision.

The proclamation formally pardoning Perry stated that “Perry’s car was immediately surrounded by aggressive protesters who rushed to obstruct, punch, smash and kick his vehicle,” and that after Foster took Perry’s vehicle He had approached his rifle “in the lower firing position.” It continued: “Perry fired his pistol at (Foster) to eliminate a perceived threat to his safety and less than a minute later called the police to report it to inform about the incident.”

Abbott, who previously praised Pardoning Perry on the recommendation of the parole board, he stated in announcing Perry’s pardon: “Texas has one of the strictest ‘Stand Your Ground’ self-defense laws that cannot be overturned by a jury or a progressive district attorney.” The Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said on X that:

Americans across the country have been watching this case in Texas and praying for justice after the BLM riots terrorized the country in 2020. Our right to self-defense is enshrined in the Constitution. Soros-backed prosecutors like Jose Garza cannot choose the rights we have as Americans, and I am relieved that justice has prevailed.

Stand-your-ground laws have been the subject of national debate because they allow lethal force to be used against an attacker if necessary without imposing an obligation to retreat from the confrontation. Texas’ Stand Your Ground Law allows the use of reasonable force to protect the actor from an attacker’s “unlawful deadly force” or to prevent an attacker from committing “aggravated kidnapping, murder, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, robbery, or commits “aggravated robberies”. For the law to apply, the actor must not have committed a serious crime and must not have provoked the attacker. These laws came into the national spotlight during the 2012-13 trial of George Zimmerman, who shot and killed black teenager Trayvon Martin and was acquitted under Florida’s stand-your-ground law.

Travis County, Texas District Attorney Jose Garza issued a statement accusing the governor and the parole board of putting “politics over justice” in pardoning Perry. As quoted by KTSM, Garza continued:

Your actions violate the law and show that there are two classes of people in this state, some lives matter and others don’t. They sent a message to Garrett Foster’s family, his partner, and our community that his life doesn’t matter. They sent the message that the service of the Travis County community members who served on the grand jury and trial jury did not matter. To the family and friends of Garrett Foster and to the people of Travis County: We will not stop fighting for justice.

The US saw a wave of demonstrations and unrest in 2020 as supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement protested the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. 11 people were killed in demonstrations in 2020, and another 14 died this year as a result of “political unrest.”

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