Abbott's Pardon Candidate Premeditated His 'Self-Defense' Murder Spree
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott is planning to pardon Daniel Perry, the man convicted of murder for killing a Black Lives Matter protester at a rally in Austin in July 2020. Abbott is citing a “Stand Your Ground” law after Perry ran a red light and accelerated his car onto a street filled with protesters, then shot Garrett Foster, a protester who approached the car while openly carrying an AK-47. That Abbott wants to make Perry into a cause célèbre, given the bare facts of the case, is bad enough, but on Thursday, the Houston Chronicle released a 76-page filing by Travis County prosecutors that should really make Abbott think again, but probably won’t.
The filing includes page after page of social media posts and private messages filled with racism, violent imagery, and, tellingly, a strong preoccupation with exactly what counts as murder when it comes to killing protesters. The man did research on what he might be able to get away with—a search for “degrees of murder charges,” web history looking at Wikipedia on murder in United States law, a status posted about the distinctions between different degrees of murder and manslaughter, discussions of people who drove into crowds of protesters. Daniel Perry didn’t just happen to drive onto a street with protesters and then shoot and kill one of them. This was something he’d thought about a lot.
On May 31, 2020, Perry shows how he is thinking this through:
DANIEL PERRY: “I might have to kill a few people on my way to work they are rioting outside my apartment complex.”
JUSTIN SMITH: “Can you legally do so?”
DANIEL PERRY: “If they attack me or try to pull me out my car then yes.”
DANIEL PERRY: “If I just do it because I am driving by then no.”
So that’s the first question for Greg Abbott: Do you want to pardon the guy who not only murdered someone, but murdered someone after doing his research on different types of murder charges and showing a preoccupation with driving into crowds of protesters?
The second question for Abbott would probably involve some of the more overtly racist things Perry said and shared. Just one with the n-word, apparently, but you don’t need to use that word to be unbelievably racist, like when Perry shared “a meme with a photo of a woman holding her child’s head under the bath water and the text reads, ‘WHEN YOUR DAUGHTERS FIRST CRUSH IS A LITTLE NEGRO BOY.’”
Perry also compared Black Lives Matter protesters to monkeys at the zoo and said, speaking for himself, not sharing a meme, “To bad we can’t get paid for hunting Muslims in Europe.” How about that, Gov. Abbott? Still can’t wait to pardon him?
But that’s not all prosecutors want on the record about what Perry was up to online. They also have him searching for “good chats to meet young girls” and messaging with multiple underage girls, with the strong implication that he had a sexual relationship with one too young to have her driver’s license. This is the guy Greg Abbott wants to make into a heroic martyr of the right.
There are also some messages exchanged that you really want more context on, like this one:
OUTGOING MESSAGE: “He is now saying they threaten him.
”JUSTIN SMITH: “Probably. Sounds like he got kidnapped.”
OUTGOING MESSAGE: “Look just fix it.”
JUSTIN SMITH: “Literally how.”
OUTGOING MESSAGE: “By ensuring this never happens again contacting me and my father if he contacts you.”
JUSTIN SMITH: “I’m sorry.”
OUTGOING MESSAGE: “And tell me if the money shows up.”
That exchange goes on from there, concluding:
OUTGOING MESSAGE: “I am legally not allowed to talk about said issue anymore.”
OUTGOING MESSAGE: “I will hit you up on the DL.”
Daniel Perry was obsessed with protests, especially protests for racial justice. He was specifically interested in when it was permissible to kill protesters. He was also sharing racist memes, saying his own personal racist stuff, and hitting on teenage girls. This guy is a real prince. And Abbott isn’t the only Republican who has defended him:
\u201cDan Crenshaw said a convicted murderer who shot a Black Lives Matter protestor shouldn\u2019t only be pardoned but also *compensated.* \n\nNow texts and social media posts were just released showing the murderer calling Black people \u201canimals\u201d he wants to hunt and saying \u201cI am a racist.\u201d\u201d— No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen (@No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen) 1681481602
Maybe Republicans will back away from Perry a little bit following the revelations in this filing, with their racism and obsession with teenage girls and evidence of premeditation. But that’s not a given. And even if they back away now, they were willing to go with him right up to murder. This is where we are right now: Major politicians in one of the major parties support murderers if the murderer is on their side politically and the victim was on the other side. It’s hard to see how you come back from that.
Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos.