Texas governor pardons man who killed Black Lives Matter protester in 2020 | Texas

Governor Greg Abbott of Texas issued a full pardon on Thursday to a former US army sergeant convicted of murder for fatally shooting an armed demonstrator in 2020 during nationwide protests against police violence and racial injustice.

Abbott announced the pardon just minutes after the Texas board of pardons and paroles disclosed it had made a unanimous recommendation that Daniel Perry be pardoned and have his firearms rights restored. Perry has been held in state prison on a 25-year sentence since his conviction in 2023.

The Republican governor had previously ordered the board to review Perry’s case and said earlier that he would sign a pardon if recommended. The board, which is appointed by the governor, announced its unanimous recommendation in a message posted on the agency website, and Abbott’s pardon swiftly followed.

Abbott’s demand for a review of Perry’s case followed pressure from the former Fox News star Tucker Carlson, who on national television had urged the Republican governor to intervene after the sergeant was convicted at trial in April 2022. Perry was sentenced to 25 years in prison after prosecutors used his social media history and text messages to portray him as a racist who might commit violence again.

A jury in Austin had convicted Perry of murder in the death of 28-year-old Garrett Foster, an air force veteran who had been legally carrying an AK-47 while marching in a Black Lives Matter protest. Perry was working as a ride-share driver in July 2020, when he turned his car on to a street crowded with demonstrators and shot Foster before driving off.

Prosecutors argued at trial that Perry could have driven away without opening fire and witnesses testified that they never saw Foster raise his gun. The sergeant’s defense attorneys argued Foster, who was white, did raise the rifle and that Perry had no choice but to shoot. Perry, who is also white, did not take the witness stand and jurors deliberated for two days before finding him guilty.

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