According to a Texas jury’s decision on Friday, a U.S. Army sergeant was found guilty of murder for fatally shooting an armed protester in 2020 while participating in nationwide demonstrations against racial inequality and police brutality.
In July 2020, Sgt. Daniel Perry was a ride-hailing employee when he pulled into a street and came upon a sizable gathering of protesters in downtown Austin. A automobile can be heard honking in a video that was live streamed on Facebook before several bullets are fired and the demonstrators start to scream and disperse.
Garrett Foster, a 28-year-old demonstrator, was brought to the hospital, where doctors eventually declared him dead.
Perry is currently awaiting sentencing and faces life in jail.
“We’re pleased with the decision. We also feel terrible for his family. There are no winners in this, the victim’s father Stephen Foster told reporters on Friday.
The jury had two days to deliberate. Perry’s lawyers said during closing arguments that he was forced to fire Foster as he approached Perry’s car with an AK-47 weapon, according to the Austin American-Statesman. Perry might have drove away before firing his handgun, according to the prosecution.
According to the publication, witnesses said Foster never pointed his rifle at Perry. Perry, who did not give a statement, allegedly informed police that Foster did.
Then-Police Chief Brian Manley reported that officers heard “two different volleys of gunfire” shortly after the incident. As the police arrived in the crowd, they discovered Foster suffering from numerous gunshot wounds.
Manley claimed that the driver, who was not identified at the time, had called 911 to report the shooting, and that demonstrators who had seen the incident had fired the second round of rounds.
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Fort Hood, about 70 miles north of Austin, was where Perry was stationed. The trial follows Perry’s team’s year-long attempts to have the case dismissed.
Following the police assassination of George Floyd, protesters had been demonstrating in the streets of Austin and other cities for weeks when Foster was killed.
After a Minneapolis police officer placed his knee over the Black man’s neck for more than nine minutes on May 25, 2020, Floyd passed away. Floyd claimed he couldn’t breathe repeatedly while being shackled.
Floyd’s murder was captured on camera by a bystander and led to protests across the globe as part of a larger discussion about racial injustice.
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