Murderer who called BLM protestors "monkeys" pardoned by Abbott

Texas Gov. pardoned Daniel Perry, who told a friend that he “might have to kill" demonstrators before shooting one

Published May 16, 2024 7:08PM (EDT)

The Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott (James Manning/PA Images via Getty Images)
The Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott (James Manning/PA Images via Getty Images)

Governor Greg Abbott on Thursday pardoned convicted killer Daniel Perry, who shot a protestor during a Black Lives Matter demonstration.

Perry, who in 2020 murdered 28-year-old Black Lives Matter protester and Air Force veteran Garrett Foster, was released shortly following the order, which came after a parole board recommendation and significant far-right support for the convicted killer. 

Perry killed Foster — who walked up to Perry’s car with a permitted firearm to warn him, as he allegedly attempted to drive his car into a crowd of protestors — after sending scores of racist text messages, including one noting that he “might have to kill a few” demonstrators, and another calling Black Lives Matter demonstrators “monkeys.”

Yet, Abbott instructed his state’s parole board to justify a commutation of Perry’s sentence over a year ago, as Texas law requires a recommendation from the body. Per the three-member parole board appointed by the Texas governor, the 25-year sentence and a ban on gun ownership were overturned unanimously.

“Texas has one of the strongest 'Stand Your Ground' laws of self-defense that cannot be nullified by a jury or a progressive District Attorney,” Abbott said in a statement announcing the release of Perry. “I thank the Board for its thorough investigation, and I approve their pardon recommendation."

Perry’s self-defense argument, which failed to convince jurors after eyewitness testimony that Foster didn’t draw a weapon before being killed, and evidence that Foster had the safety on and no ammunition in the gun was presented by prosecutors, was the crux of the parole board's findings. 

Perry isn’t the first extremist to walk free after killing demonstrators. In 2021, Kyle Rittenhouse was found not guilty of homicide after killing two people in Kenosha, Wisconsin, claiming self defense. Rittenhouse, 17 at the time of the killings, rode the national attention from the killings into a de-facto position as a defender of right-wing violence, calling for Perry’s pardon.

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