Abbott grants full pardon to former sergeant who killed BLM protester in 2020: "Laws of self-defense that cannot be nullified"

The man in question is Daniel Perry, whose release was an express recommendation of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.

Greg Abbott pardoned Daniel Perry, a former sergeant who murdered a Black Lives Matter (BLM) protester in 2020. The governor received an express recommendation from the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole, an organization that understood that the then law enforcement agent acted in personal defense.

“The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles conducted an exhaustive review of U.S. Army Sergeant Daniel Perry’s personal history and the facts surrounding the July 2020 incident and recommended a Full Pardon and Restoration of Full Civil Rights of Citizenship,” the Republican governor said.

“Among the voluminous files reviewed by the Board, they considered information provided by the Travis County District Attorney, the full investigative report on Daniel Perry, plus a review of all the testimony provided at trial. 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. I thank the Board for its thorough investigation, and I approve their pardon recommendation,” he added, explaining the origin of his decision.

The case of Daniel Perry

It all started in July 2020, when a protest in reaction to the death of George Floyd took place in the city of Austin. Perry, then a 30-year-old retired sergeant in the middle of his Uber driving shift, found the protesters blocking his path, so he decided to drive his car through them.

Moments later, a man approached to tell him to stop. This guy turned out to be Garrett Foster, an Air Force veteran, who was carrying an AK-47. According to Perry’s testimony, Foster was about to point his gun at him, which caused him to shoot him to death. “I think he was going to aim it at me... I didn’t want to give him the opportunity to aim it at me,” Perry stated in the interview, maintaining that he acted in self-defense.

However, in July 2021, a Travis County grand jury indicted him for murder and aggravated assault, a case that resulted in a final conviction in April 2023. Without the possibility of a new trial, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

During the trial, Perry’s military colleagues testified that he always treated everyone fairly, regardless of race.

Once the process was over, some of Perry’s threatening and racist comments about the BLM protests began to emerge. His lawyers described these messages as “barracks humor.”

After the conviction, some important voices, including Congressman Ronny Jackson, Tucker Carlson, and the chairman of the Texas Republican Party, Matt Rinaldi, promoted the option of pardon because they understood that Perry had indeed acted in self-defense.

Indeed, after carefully studying the case, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles recommended this option to the governor, who rarely grants pardons. Indeed, he granted only three pardons in 2023, two in 2022 and eight in 2021.