NATIONAL NEWS

Prosecutor asks Texas court to reverse governor’s pardon of man who fatally shot demonstrator

Jun 4, 2024, 12:26 PM

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A prosecutor said Tuesday is asking the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to reverse the governor’s pardon of a former Army sergeant who was convicted of fatally shooting a Black Lives Matter demonstrator.

Travis County District Attorney José Garza and the family of Garrett Foster, who was killed in July 2020, have called Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s full pardon of Daniel Perry a year after his conviction a political mockery of the legal system.

Perry was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison in May 2023 for the fatal shooting of Foster during a demonstration in downtown Austin.

Perry, who is white, was working as a ride-share driver when his car approached the demonstration. Prosecutors said he could have driven away from the confrontation with Foster, a white Air Force veteran who witnesses said never raised his gun.

A jury convicted Perry of murder, but Abbott called the shooting self-defense, noting Texas’ “Stand Your Ground” law. Abbott ordered the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to review Perry’s case, and issued a full pardon last month over the objections of Foster’s family and prosecutors. Perry was quickly released from prison.

Last month, 14 Democrat attorneys general from around the country issued a similar demand, saying the U.S. Justice Department should investigate whether Perry denied Foster his right to free speech and peacefully protest.

A federal probe could open Perry to federal charges. The “DOJ has historically used federal civil-rights laws to prosecute acts of hate, especially when states refuse or fail to hold people accountable for violating their fellow Americans’ civil rights,” they said.

“Throughout American history, our freedom of speech and right to peaceful protest have been two of the most powerful tools used to combat injustice and oppression,” Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said on May 29. “Vigilante violence is unacceptable, particularly when that violence is used to deprive Americans of their lives and most fundamental liberties.”

Foster was killed amid the widespread demonstrations against police killings and racial injustice that followed the killing of George Floyd, a Black man, by a white Minneapolis police officer. Perry’s conviction prompted immediate calls for a pardon from state and national conservatives.

Perry claimed he was trying to drive 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. Prosecutors argued that Perry could have driven away without shooting.

To critics, Abbott’s rush to wipe away the conviction also raised questions about how a governor might try to overturn a jury’s verdict in the future.

After the verdict but before Perry was sentenced, the court unsealed dozens of pages of text messages and social media posts that showed he had hostile views toward Black Lives Matter protests. In a comment on Facebook a month before the shooting, Perry wrote, “It is official I am a racist because I do not agree with people acting like animals at the zoo.”

National News

Juanita Beach Kirkland...

Kathy McCormack and Nick Perry, The Associated Press

‘Tis the season for swimming and bacteria alerts in lakes, rivers

With summer about to start, many people flocking to their favorite swimming holes may also want to read up on bacteria warnings.

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Couple rescued from desert near California’s Joshua Tree National Park after running out of water

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — A couple hiking in the desert south of Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California was rescued after running out of water, authorities said. On Sunday, the man called 911 and reported that his girlfriend was dehydrated and weak, according to a statement from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office posted Monday […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Crews rescue 28 people trapped upside down high on Oregon amusement park ride

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Emergency crews in Oregon rescued 28 people Friday after they were stuck for about half an hour dangling upside down high on a ride at a century-old amusement park. Portland Fire and Rescue said on the social platform X that firefighters worked with engineers at Oaks Park to manually lower the […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Independent report criticizes Cuomo’s ‘top-down’ management of New York’s COVID-19 response

NEW YORK (AP) — An investigation into New York’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic found former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “top down” approach of dictating public health policy through his office, rather than coordinating with state and local agencies, sewed confusion during the crisis. In the state’s nursing homes, where some 15,000 people died, the administration’s […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Judge dismisses lawsuit challenging federal rules to accommodate abortions for workers

CHICAGO (AP) — A lawsuit filed by 17 states challenging federal rules entitling workers to time off and other accommodations for abortions lacks standing, a federal judge in Arkansas ruled on Friday. Republican attorneys general from each state, led by Arkansas and Tennessee, sued the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in April, days after the agency […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Guest lineups for the Sunday news shows

WASHINGTON (AP) — ABC’s “This Week” — Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen; Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C. ___ NBC’s “Meet the Press” — Reps. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., and Ro Khanna, D-Calif. ___ CBS’ “Face the Nation” — Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio; Microsoft founder Bill Gates; Neel Kashkari, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. ___ CNN’s […]

8 hours ago

Prosecutor asks Texas court to reverse governor’s pardon of man who fatally shot demonstrator