By Hudson Crozier
In a nutshell: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is working “swiftly” to secure a pardon for Army Sgt. Daniel Perry, who was convicted of murder last week for the fatal shooting of a Black Lives Matter protester in 2020. Perry faces a life sentence. Many consider the case an attack on the right to self-defense by Travis County District Attorney José Garza, the George Soros—funded progressive who prosecuted him.
The shooting: In July 2020, Perry was driving through Austin while working as an Uber driver when BLM rioters surrounded his car and began hitting it. When protester Garrett Foster approached Perry at his window with a rifle, Perry shot him five times with a pistol, drove away, and called 911. Austin police investigated and decided not to arrest Perry “because self-defense was a possibility.”
The evidence: Perry claimed that Foster aimed his rifle at him, though no available photos or videos supported this, and multiple protesters testified against this claim. The prosecution also highlighted prior text messages in which Perry expressed disdain for rioters, writing, “I might have to kill a few people on my way to work.” However, the lead investigator on the case accused the D.A.’s office of tampering with his witness testimony, claiming the office did not want to present over 100 slides of his presentation that would have been favorable to Perry’s case.
Between the lines: Like other liberal prosecutors across the country, Garza has implemented a vast criminal “reform” agenda in his district, lowering incarceration for violent convicts and refusing to prosecute hundreds of cases. Meanwhile, he has charged over a dozen police officers for excessive force against BLM protesters in 2020 and is aggressively seeking Perry's imprisonment based on disputed evidence. Many take offense to Garza's sense of priorities and see Gov. Abbott's potential pardon as a way to push back.