Texas Democrat accuses Abbott of ‘alliance with white nationalists’ over pardon

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Democratic Rep. Joaquin Castro (Texas) on Thursday accused Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) of having an “alliance with white nationalists” after he pardoned an Army sergeant who was previously convicted for shooting and killing a Black Lives Matter (BLM) protester in 2020.

“Before Daniel Perry murdered a veteran in 2020, he told a friend he ‘might go to Dallas to shoot looters.’ A year before, he wrote, ‘to [sic] bad we can’t get paid for hunting Muslims,’” Castro wrote in a statement Thursday. “Governor Abbott’s alliance with white nationalists is putting dangerous people on our streets.”

The remarks came shortly after Abbott announced Thursday he issued a pardon for Daniel Perry, who was found guilty in April of last year in the death of Garrett Foster during a July 2020 protest in Austin, Texas.

Perry, who is white and worked as an Uber driver at the time of the incident, had dropped a passenger off in downtown Austin and tried to move his car through a crowd of demonstrators when he said Foster, who was legally armed with an AK-47, aimed his rifle at him.

Perry, who was also legally carrying a gun, fired at Foster, claiming he feared for his life.

He was sentenced to 25 years in prison, angering conservatives who argued he acted out of self-defense. Abbott subsequently asked the state’s parole board to review Perry’s case.

The board, appointed by Abbott, handed down a unanimous recommendation to pardon Perry, prompting the governor’s Thursday proclamation.

Perry will be granted a full pardon and “restoration of full civil rights of citizenship” as part of Abbott’s proclamation.

Prosecutors argued Foster did not raise a gun, pointing to eyewitness accounts that dispute Perry’s claims. Documents released last year showed Perry also shared racist content in private messages, including one where he likened BLM protesters to monkeys.

“I am a racist because I do not agree with people acting like animals at the zoo,” he wrote. “I was on the side” of the protesters, he said, until they “started with the looting and the violence.”

Other messages included white supremacist memes and Perry discussing the prospect of traveling to Dallas to shoot “looters.”

Castro has served Texas’s 20th Congressional District since 2013, representing about half of San Antonio, located about 80 miles outside of Austin.

The Hill reached out to Abbott’s office for comment.

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