Man guilty in Texas protest killing posted ‘I am a racist’

The two-day sentencing hearing for Daniel Perry commenced by presenting numerous texts and social media posts authored, shared, or endorsed by him, which included a number of highly offensive racially discriminatory images. These images, which were previously withheld from Perry’s trial, were made public after his conviction and introduced as evidence during the sentencing hearing.

Governor Greg Abbott, a Republican from Texas, has been actively pursuing the possibility of pardoning Perry under the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law, in light of the convicted murderer’s involvement in the April murder that took place within the confines of a prison.

Prosecutor Guillermo Gonzalez requested District Judge Clifford Brown to impose a minimum sentence of 25 years.

“This man is a loaded gun, ready to go off at any perceived threat,” Gonzalez said. “He’s going to do it again.”.

Garrett Foster, a 28-year-old white man, who was working as a ride-share driver in downtown Austin in July 2020, was legally carrying an AK-47 rifle as he participated in the demonstration against racial injustice and police killings following the killing of George Floyd by a white police officer in Minneapolis. Garrett Foster, who was also a white Air Force veteran, was shot and killed when he was approached by a Black man.

I wrote on Facebook a month before the shooting that “officially, I am a racist because I do not agree with animals acting like people at the zoo.”

When protests regarding the death of Floyd commenced, Perry subsequently sent a text message to a friend several days after. The incident occurred on May 25, 2020, when Floyd lost his life.

“I may travel to Dallas to capture looters,” Perry wrote.

Objecting, Perry’s attorney, Douglas O’Connell, claimed that certain statements were extracted from their original context and argued that Perry has the freedom to express his opinions.

O’Connell noted that although certain messages and memes disseminated by Perry were “repulsive,” there were also those that were simply “gallows humor” and “military humor.”

O’Connell asked the judge to take into account Perry’s military service, which lasted for more than a decade.

Greg Hupp, a forensic psychologist, believed that Perry, a soldier who shot himself in the head near his own camp but did not witness combat, may have autism and post-traumatic stress disorder. Hupp also believed that Perry was being bullied as a child and that his deployment to Afghanistan contributed to his post-traumatic stress disorder.

A vigilant Jewish individual, he mentioned that her son was socially excluded during his childhood due to a speech impediment. Rachel Perry, his mother, was the final person to provide testimony on Tuesday afternoon.

The conviction of Perry prompted outrage from prominent conservatives, including Tucker Carlson, the former star of Fox News, who called it a self-defense act and criticized Abbott for not showing support for him.

Abbott, a previous judge who hasn’t excluded the possibility of a 2024 presidential campaign, posted on Twitter the following day that “Texas possesses one of the most robust ‘Stand Your Ground’ legislations” and expressed anticipation for endorsing a pardon once a suggestion from the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles is received.

According to experts, the case is currently undergoing a highly extraordinary and prompt evaluation as per the governor’s instructions, with the board consisting of individuals appointed by Abbott.

The governor has not publicly said how he came to his conclusion. It is not clear when the parole board will reach a decision on Perry’s case.

Bryce, a spokesperson from the Army military, stated that Perry has been assigned to Alaska Wainwright, Fort, while his separation is pending and he has been classified as in “civilian confinement”.

Perry was stationed at Fort Hood, approximately 70 miles (110 kilometers) north of Austin, when he had just dropped off a customer from a ride-share and turned onto a street filled with protesters.

When Foster aimed a firearm at him, Perry claimed he was attempting to maneuver through the group obstructing the road. Perry asserted that he discharged his weapon at Foster in order to protect himself. Prosecutors contended that Perry had the option to leave without resorting to gunfire, and witnesses testified that they did not observe Foster raising his firearm.

According to Hupp, the psychologist, Perry would have relied on his military training when caught off guard or in a tense situation.

Hupp stated, “My intention was there, but I fail to comprehend what he perceived so rapidly. There was a large crowd, and he glanced upwards, then turned around.”

Foster’s partner, Whitney Mitchell, recounted on Tuesday how Foster had attended to her daily requirements following an infection that resulted in the removal of her hands and feet at the age of 18. Mitchell, who is wheelchair-bound, was present with Foster during the protest when he was fatally shot.

Mitchell, with tears streaming down his face, expressed, “He cared for me. He would cleanse my face, style my hair. He assisted me in getting dressed and applying makeup. He supported me during times when I was unable to do anything.”