Texas DA to request reversal of pardon for former Army soldier who fatally shot BLM protester

A progressive Texas district attorney plans to file a request to reverse a pardon issued by Gov. Greg Abbott to a former Army soldier who shot and killed a Black Lives Matter (BLM) protester during a demonstration in 2020. 

Travis County District Attorney José Garza said his office will file a writ of mandamus with the Court of Criminal Appeals to reverse the pardon for Daniel Perry. 

“Three weeks ago, on May 16, the Board of Pardons and Paroles and the governor put their politics over justice and made a mockery of our legal system and for that they should be ashamed of themselves,” Garza said in a news conference to announce the move. “Their actions were contrary to the law.”

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“We will be asking the courts to intervene in order to restore the sanctity of the rule of law in this great state,” he added.

Abbott issued a full pardon to Perry, following his conviction last year for the death of Garrett Foster, a BLM protester and Air Force veteran, in downtown Austin during a 2020 protest. Foster was legally carrying an AK-47 rifle at the time of the July 2020 incident.  

Perry was stationed at what was then Fort Hood, about 70 miles north of Austin, when the shooting happened. He had just dropped off a ride-share customer and turned onto a street filled with protesters. He said he was trying to get past the crowd and fired his pistol when Foster pointed a rifle at him. 

Witnesses testified that they did not see Foster raise his weapon, and prosecutors argued that Perry could have driven away without shooting. Perry was eventually convicted for the killing and sentenced to 25 years in prison. 

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Holly Taylor, director of Public Integrity and Complex Crimes, said by issuing the pardon, Abbott circumvented his authority and “violated the Separation of Powers Doctrine.”

“It was planned, it was premeditated and the very next day the governor announced his plans to pardon and now here we are, he has done it, and I’m not okay with this and nobody should be okay with this,” said Foster’s mother Shiela Foster.

Fox News Digital has reached out to Perry’s attorney and Abbott’s office

Garza has earned a reputation for taking progressive stances regarding the criminal justice system. In 2021, local media news outlets reported that his office had rejected criminal charges, including some for violent offenses, for some suspects before they got to see a judge.

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Perry’s attorney, Doug O’Connell, told Fox 7 Austin that Garza’s attempt to reverse the pardon was more “political theater.”

“The pardon power of the executive branch is a well settled Constitutional authority,” he said. “I’m skeptical that Ms. Taylor, who was recently sanctioned by a Travis County Court for violating the Michael Morton Act (hiding evidence), will persuade the Court of Criminal Appeals with a novel theory challenging the Texas Constitution.”