After 16 hours of deliberations, a jury found active-duty Sergeant Daniel Perry guilty of the murder of Black Lives Matter protester Garrett Foster on Friday; he will be sentenced on Tuesday. Perry collapsed and sobbed into the arms of his defense e attorney after the verdict was read and was led away.
After Perry was led away, Foster’s father, Stephen, delivered a brief statement in the waiting area outside the courtroom: “We’re thankful for the legal team that represented us, and the jury, and we’re happy with the verdict,” he said, his voice barely audible among a circle of reporters. “We’re very sorry for [Perry’s] family, as well, and we’re just glad it’s over.”
July 25, 2020, Perry pulled his car into a group of about 20 protesters marching for Black lives at the corner of Fourth Street and Congress Avenue in downtown Austin. He stopped and protesters rushed to his car and began slapping and kicking it. Foster, a 28-year-old Air Force veteran openly carrying an AK-47, approached the driver’s side door and made some kind of comment. Perry opened the window and fired five shots at Foster’s chest, killing him.
After turning himself in, Perry told Austin police officers that he’d fired in self-defense when Foster threatened him with the AK-47; police believed him and let him go. His attorneys made the same argument at the trial with testimony from experts who said that Foster was in position to shoot Perry and could have done so within a split second. But prosecutors with the District Attorney’s Office showed the jury text messages and social media posts Perry had written demonstrating that he harbored a deep hatred for BLM protesters and fantasized about killing them.
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