Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Saturday that he intends to seek a pardon for an Army Sergeant recently convicted of murder for shooting a Black Lives Matter protester during an anti-police demonstration in 2020.
“I am working as swiftly as Texas law allows regarding the pardon of Sgt. Perry,” the Texas Republican tweeted Saturday along with a statement on how his office will go about a pardon.
Abbott said in his tweet that pardons in Texas must be recommended by the Board of Pardons and Paroles.
“I have made that request and instructed the board to expedite its review,” Abbott said.
ARMY SERGEANT INDICTED FOR MURDER IN 2020 AUSTIN RIOT SHOOTING PLEADS SELF-DEFENSE: POLICE INVESTIGATOR AGREES
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott speaks during a news conference on January 31, 2023 (Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
The governor said he looks forward to signing the pardon as soon as it reaches his desk.
Army Sergeant Daniel Perry was convicted of murder on Friday for shooting and killing a Black Lives Matter protester holding an AK-47 after the gun was raised toward him. The Austin Police Department concluded at the time that Perry acted in self-defense.
Perry, who was stationed at Fort Hood at the time of the shooting, was driving for Uber to make extra money in downtown Austin on the night of July 25, 2020, when he encountered a large crowd of protesters. They were illegally blocking city streets that night, according to police, as protesters in Austin and elsewhere had done during the weeks of rioting.
Among the protesters was 28-year-old Garrett Foster, who was carrying an AK-47. Perry’s defense team says that the demonstrators encircled and starting pounding on his vehicle and that Foster raised the firearm at Perry, prompting him to open fire with a handgun he legally carried for self-defense.
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Army Sgt. Daniel Perry was convicted of murder for killing Garrett Foster while driving an Uber amid a 2020 Black Lives Matter protest. Fosters family is suing him over the death. (Sgt Daniel Perry)
“When Garrett Foster pointed his AK-47 at Daniel Perry, Daniel had two tenths of a second to defend himself. He chose to live,” Doug O’Connell, an attorney for Perry, told Fox News Digital in a statement last year.
“It may be legal in Texas to carry an assault rifle in downtown Austin. It doesn’t make it a good idea. If you point a firearm at someone, you’re responsible for everything that happens next.”
Abbott explained that Texas has one of the “strongest stand your ground” laws in the country that “cannot be “nullified by a jury or a progressive District Attorney.”
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People hold up signs outside Austin Police Department after a vigil for Garrett Foster on July 26, 2020 in downtown Austin, Texas. (Getty Images)
Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza, the George Soros-backed prosecutor who brought the case, has been widely criticized for pursuing charges against Perry for political clout rather than the merits of the case.
“Self-defense is a God-given right, not a crime. Unfortunately, the Soros-backed DA in Travis County cares more about the radical agenda of dangerous Antifa and BLM mobs than justice,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement to Fox News Digital following the Perry verdict.
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Garza’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.
“Right now we are completely focused on preparing for Daniel’s sentencing hearing,” O’Connell told Fox News Digital following Abbott’s tweet.
“I visited Daniel in jail this morning. As you might expect he is devastated. He spoke to me about his fears that he will never get to hug his Mother again. He’s also crushed that this conviction will end his Army service; he loves being a Soldier.”