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Thu May 23, 2024, 08:10 AM May 23

The Governor of Texas Nods to White Supremacist Violence [View all]

Greg Abbott’s pardon is an attack on multiracial democracy.


Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott delivered a ringing endorsement of racist, right-wing vigilante violence last Thursday, when he extended a rare state pardon to a bigoted killer who was duly convicted for the murder of Garrett Foster, a protester at a 2020 Black Lives Matter demonstration.

Daniel Perry, who strongly opposed the nationwide protest movement against racism and police violence, and posted violent fantasies about murdering leftists and minorities on social media, ran a red light and drove into a crowd of protesters in Austin in July 2020. He shot and killed Foster, a white Army veteran who was legally carrying an assault rifle, after Foster approached his car.

Abbott pardoned Perry on May 16 immediately after receiving a recommendation from the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, which is under near-complete control of the governor himself. “Texas has one of the strongest ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws of self-defense that cannot be nullified by a jury or a progressive District Attorney,” he said in a statement.

Abbott overturned a jury verdict that determined Perry had not fired his gun legally, even under Texas’s shoot-first self-defense regime, and without any new findings of fact nor new analysis that calls that verdict into question. Indeed, the evidence against Foster was clear-cut, and showed that he was a disturbed person who openly planned the killing beforehand, motivated by his racism and violent rhetoric against peaceful protesters by Republicans and former president Donald Trump.
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