Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said on Saturday that he is seeking a pardon for a U.S. Army sergeant convicted of murder for shooting an armed protester during a 2020 Black Lives Matter demonstration.
Mr. Abbott, a Republican, wrote on Twitter that he has filed a request with the state’s Board of Pardons and Paroles to determine whether Sgt. Daniel Perry should be granted a pardon and instructed the board to expedite its review.
“I am working as swiftly as Texas law allows regarding the pardon of Sgt. Perry,” Mr. Abbot wrote.
He added that he looks forward to approving the Board’s pardon “as soon as it hits my desk.”
Perry was convicted of murder on Friday for the killing of 28-year-old protestor Garrett Foster who approached Mr. Perry’s car with and AK-47 as a large crowd of protestors swarmed downtown Austin in July 2020.
Perry, who was stationed at Fort Hood at the time, was driving for Uber to earn extra money when protestors surrounded his vehicle during the protest.
Perry’s defense team said their client shot Foster in self-defense with a legally carried handgun after Foster raised his firearm at Perry.
The Austin Police Department concluded immediately after the shooting that Perry acted in self-defense.
Other witnesses, however, disputed Perry’s claims that the shooting was in self-defense, testifying during Perry’s trial that Foster never raised his rifle.
Prosecutors also said Perry posted on social media that he felt strongly opposed to the protests which swept through cities across the U.S. in the summer of 2020.
Perry is awaiting sentencing. He faces life in prison.
Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza, who brought the case against Perry, has been accused of pursuing the charges for political purposes.
In his post on Saturday, Mr. Abbott said his state “has one of the strongest ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws of self-defense that cannot be nullified by a jury or a progressive District Attorney.”
“I have already prioritized reining in rogue District Attorneys, and the Texas Legislature is working on laws to achieve that goal,” he said.
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