Daniel Perry, Who Murdered Black Lives Matter Protester, Pardoned by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

A former U.S. Army sergeant who was convicted of murdering Garrett Foster, a Black Lives Matter protester, in Austin in 2020 will be set free after Texas Governor Greg Abbott pardoned him.

The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles recommended the release of Daniel Perry on Thursday, according to USA Today, and within two hours Abbott gave him a full pardon, ending the 25-year sentence he had been serving. The Texas Department of Criminal Justice said Perry’s record may even be expunged.

Abbott had personally requested the Board look at Perry’s case the day after he was convicted, according to the Board’s announcement. “The members of the Board of Pardons and Paroles delved into the intricacies of Perry’s case,” the announcement said. “The investigative efforts encompassed a meticulous review of pertinent documents, from police reports to court records, witness statements, and interviews with individuals linked to the case. After a thorough examination … the Board voted unanimously to recommend a full pardon and restoration of firearm rights [to Perry].”

“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. “I thank the Board for its thorough investigation, and I approve their pardon recommendation.” He also accused Travis County District Attorney José Garza of “unethical and biased misuse of his office” in seeking a conviction, according to USA Today.

“[The Board has] sent a message to Garrett Foster’s family, to his partner, and to our community that his life does not matter,” Garza said in response, promising to continue fighting for justice.

After pulling his car onto a street filled with protesters in July 2020, Perry shot Foster five times, killing him. Perry claimed it was self-defense because Foster was holding an AK-47 rifle. Both men were carrying their weapons legally. Prosecutors argued that Perry was looking for a fight.


Perry’s defense attorneys previously asked for a lenient sentence, arguing Perry was not a violent racist. But evidence presented in trial included messages in which Perry talked about how he “might have to kill” people he viewed as “rioting” and that he would consider going to Dallas to shoot “looters.” After his conviction, a judge unsealed 76 pages of court documents containing messages he wrote, including one in which he wrote, “Black Lives Matter is racist to white people … It is official I am racist because I do not agree with people acting like monkeys.”

“I loved Garrett Foster,” his partner, Whitney Mitchell, wrote in a statement to the Austin American-Statesman. “I thought we were going to grow old together. He was the love of my life. He still is. I am heartbroken by this lawlessness. Governor Abbott has shown that to him, only certain lives matter. He has made us all less safe.”