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Texas Gov Seeks Pardon For Killer Of Anti-Police Brutality Protester



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By: Umar Abdulrahmon 

Texas’s Republican governor has said he is seeking a pardon for an Uber driver convicted of murder for shooting a protester during a Black Lives Matter rally in 2020.

Governor Greg Abbott said Saturday that he had asked the state’s Board of Pardons and Paroles to recommend a pardon for Daniel Perry, who was convicted after an eight-day jury trial of killing protester Garrett Foster.

“I look forward to approving the Board’s pardon recommendation as soon as it hits my desk,” Abbott said in a statement on Twitter. Under Texas law, he said, he needed such a recommendation before acting.

Perry, a US army sergeant and part-time ride-hailing service driver, has said he was driving through capital city Austin when he turned into a street full of demonstrators protesting in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Police said Perry honked at the protesters and drove into the crowd trying to get through.

Foster, a 28-year-old white man, was legally carrying an AK-47 rifle.

The jury heard conflicting testimony as to whether Foster pointed the AK-47, but Perry, who is also white, said he feared for his life and opened fire with a handgun he was legally carrying.

Perry’s lawyers said the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law justified his action.

Abbott agreed.

“Texas has one of the strongest ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws of self-defence that cannot be nullified by a jury or progressive District Attorney,” he said in his statement.

The Texas Republican Party had urged Abbott to issue a pardon, something he did twice last year and eight times in 2021, all for lower-level offences, the Texas Tribune reported.

While Texas Republicans praised Abbott’s decision, a Democratic state legislator, Sarah Eckhardt, called it “a stunning and dangerous abrogation of the rule of law that will embolden more armed confrontations and inevitable tragedies.”

“Stand Your Ground” laws have been highly controversial, particularly since a Florida jury in 2013 acquitted George Zimmerman of murdering an unarmed Black teen, Trayvon Martin, whom Zimmerman had pursued based on unfounded suspicions.

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