United States: Texas governor pardons man convicted of killing anti-racist protester

Greg Abbott, Republican governor of Texas, on Thursday May 16 pardoned a man convicted last year for the murder of a protester during the major “Black Lives Matter” mobilizations of 2020 against racism and police violence

United States: Texas governor pardons man convicted of killing anti-racist protester

Greg Abbott, Republican governor of Texas, on Thursday May 16 pardoned a man convicted last year for the murder of a protester during the major “Black Lives Matter” mobilizations of 2020 against racism and police violence.

Daniel Perry, a soldier currently aged 37 who drove VTCs in his free time, found himself in the middle of a crowd of demonstrators in Austin, capital of this state in the south of the United States, on July 25, 2020. His lawyers had pleaded self-defense. They said he shot Garrett Foster, 28, five times with a pistol because the latter approached his vehicle and pointed an assault rifle in his direction. The prosecution claimed he could have turned around and initiated the confrontation with this protester, who was also white.

Daniel Perry was sentenced on April 7, 2023 to 25 years in prison. Even before he appealed, Governor Abbott announced that he had asked the Texas pardons commission to study his case. He explained that he wanted to enforce the Texas law "Stand your ground", one of the most extensive in the United States in terms of self-defense, which authorizes a person to use lethal force if they consider themselves seriously in danger, even if there is another possibility of escaping this danger.

The pardons commission announced Thursday that it had, after a “meticulous examination” of all the documents in the file, “voted unanimously to recommend a total pardon and the restoration of gun rights” for the convicted person. The governor announced in a statement that he was following the commission's recommendations and praised the law "which cannot be overturned by either a jury or a progressive prosecutor." In his clemency order he criticizes the county prosecutor, accusing him of his policy of “reducing access to firearms” and his conduct of the investigation.