Texas governor pledged to pardon man convicted of killing a Black Lives Matter protester
Daniel Perry compared Black Lives Matter supporters to ‘a bunch of monkeys flinging shit at a zoo’ and mused about wanting to murder protesters before he shot and killed a man.
Newly released text messages show that Daniel Perry, a man convicted April 7 on charges of murdering a Black Lives Matter protester in Austin, Texas, in July 2020, is a self-described racist who had told a friend before the shooting that he “might have to kill a few people.”
Perry is awaiting sentencing. The text messages, which are included in a court filing first reported by the Houston Chronicle, were published five days after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott pledged to pardon Perry for the murder the day after his conviction.
“I am working as swiftly as Texas law allows regarding the pardon of Sgt. Perry,” Abbott tweeted on April 8.
The Texas Tribune reported that Abbott had made the pardon vow without any signs that he had reviewed the evidence behind Perry’s conviction.
Perry shot and killed Air Force veteran and BLM demonstrator Garrett Foster and claimed he had acted in self-defense, saying that Foster had aimed an assault rifle at him. The Austin American-Statesman reported that prosecutors said Perry purposefully drove his car into a crowd of BLM protesters and that the shooting of Foster was unwarranted.
Fox News’ Tucker Carlson and other right-wing pundits have rallied behind Perry, claiming he was legally allowed to shoot Foster under Texas’ “Stand your ground” laws, which allow someone to use deadly force in self-defense.
Texas Democratic Rep. Greg Casar accused Abbott of using the case to score political points with the right-wing Republican base. “There are no winners in a murder trial, but Greg Abbott is abusing this pardon to win a presidential primary,” Casa tweeted. “After this move, Abbott can never again claim that he’s for public safety, a fair criminal justice system, or common sense.”
The text messages and social media posts released by Travis County Assistant District Attorney Guillermo Gonzalez show that Perry was searching for BLM protests in Texas, where he lived, and was a prolific viewer and poster of racist and violent memes.
In one Facebook post he made on June 1, 2020, Perry wrote, “It is official I am a racist because I do not agree with people acting like animals at the zoo.”
In a WhatsApp message the same day, Perry wrote, “Am I raciest for thinking the way the black lives matter movement is like a bunch of monkeys flinging shit at a zoo due to the fact they they demand white people give their houses to a poor black family and the way their protests always seem to turn violent.”
On April 4, 2020, Perry sent an image to a friend of a woman holding a child’s head underwater in a bath tub with text over it saying, “WHEN YOUR DAUGHTERS FIRST CRUSH IS A LITTLE NEGRO BOY.”
And in a 2019 text message in which he was complaining of money troubles, Perry wrote, “To bad we can’t get paid for hunting Muslims in Europe.”
Perry had also mused about killing protesters.
On May 29, 2020, Perry texted a friend, “I might go to Dallas to shoot looters.”
And on May 31, 2020, Perry texted that same friend, “I might have to kill a few people on my way to work they are rioting outside my apartment complex. … No protestors go near me or my car.”
When the friend replies, “Can you catch me a negro daddy,” Perry texts back, “that is what I am hoping.”
Following the release of the text messages, the Texas Democratic Party called on Abbott to take back his promise to pardon Perry
The party tweeted: “This is the racist murderer @GregAbbott_TX says he wants to pardon — just so he won’t get a bad shoutout by Tucker Carlson or a mean tweet from @TexasGOP. Governor Abbott, either retract your statement about him or just admit you’re a pandering coward.”
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.
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