Greg Abbott Blasted for New Pardon: ‘Worse Than Rittenhouse’

Texas Governor Greg Abbott is getting slammed after granting a full pardon to the U.S. Army sergeant who shot and killed a protester during a Black Lives Matter rally in 2020.

The sergeant, Daniel Perry, was found guilty of murder in April 2023 and sentenced to 25 years in prison. The Republican governor said in a statement Thursday that he granted the pardon after an “exhaustive review” was conducted by the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles.

The Context

Perry was convicted of murder for killing 28-year-old Air Force veteran Garrett Foster, who was armed with an AK-47 while participating in a Black Lives Matter protest against police brutality in July 2020. Perry claimed during the trial that he shot Foster out of self-defense.

Greg Abbott Blasted For New Pardon
Texas Governor Greg Abbott speaks at the state Capitol on June 8, 2023, in Austin. Abbott was ripped on Thursday after granting a full pardon to Daniel Perry, a U.S. Army sergeant who murdered a…

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Prosecutors said that Perry initiated the deadly encounter by driving his car into a crowd of protesters who were rallying in downtown Austin. Perry told police, however, that Foster had raised his firearm at him before Perry shot him. Both men are white and were legally armed.

Court documents unsealed after the conviction also revealed that Perry had several racist and threatening comments online regarding the mass protests that broke out across the country in response to the death of George Floyd. Perry also issued threats against the protesters via text messages that were shown to the court, including one message that read, “I might go to Dallas to shoot looters.”

What We Know

Abbott’s full pardon for Perry, which also restores his rights to bear arms, was ripped online by progressives such as Nina Turner, an activist and former Democratic state lawmaker in Ohio, who called the governor’s decision “Absolutely horrendous.”

“Where is the so-called ‘pro-life’ crowd?” Turner added in her post to X, formerly known as Twitter.

Former Obama administration official Brandon Friedman also tore into Abbott’s decision on social media, writing in a series of posts to X, “Texas creeps closer to fascist lawlessness.”

“Republicans want to legalize killing political opponents. Most won’t say it publicly, but we’re getting there,” Friedman said.

“This is worse than [Kyle] Rittenhouse,” he added. Rittenhouse was found not guilty of two counts of homicide in 2021 after he fatally shot two men and injured another during a night of protests and unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in summer 2020. He argued that he shot the victims out of self-defense, and in recent years has become a conservative public figure.

“This guy [Perry] is literally a convicted murderer about to be pardoned by the ‘Party of Law and Order,'” Friedman wrote.

This is a developing story and will be updated as further information becomes available.