Texas governor pardons Uber driver convicted of murdering Black Lives Matter protester

By Steve Gorman

(Reuters) – An Uber driver convicted of murder and sentenced to 25 years in prison for fatally shooting a man taking part in a Black Lives Matter protest in 2020 was granted a full pardon on Thursday by Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

The clemency proclamation for Daniel Perry, a U.S. Army sergeant, was issued shortly after the Texas Board of Pardons and Parole unanimously recommended a full pardon and restoration of Perry’s firearm rights following an investigation the board conducted at the governor’s request.

Perry was found guilty in April 2023 of murder in the shooting death of 28-year-old Garrett Foster, a U.S. Air Force veteran who was gunned down at a Black Lives Matter rally in Austin, the state capital, in July 2020.

The demonstration came amid a storm of protests across the country against racial injustice and police brutality in the aftermath of the George Floyd killing by Minneapolis officers in May of that year.

Perry has insisted he was acting in self defense when he shot Foster, asserting that he had no choice but to open fire with his handgun when Foster pointed the AK-47 he was legally carrying at Perry. Perry is white, as was Foster.

Perry was driving in the city that night and had turned his Uber car onto a street where the demonstrators were marching, leading members of the crowd to believe they were in danger of being assaulted by his vehicle, according to media accounts of the incident.

At trial, the two sides presented conflicting accounts of whether Foster leveled his gun at Perry.

Abbott, a Republican, said a day after Perry was convicted in a case brought by a Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza, a Democrat, that he would seek a pardon under the state’s “stand-your-ground” law allowing use of a gun in self defense.

“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 issuing pardon proclamation.

(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by Daniel Wallis)

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