Well-founded Fear: Freedom of Expression Under Threat as Texas Governor Seeks to Pardon Police Convicted of Murdering BLM Protester.
Texas Govenor, Gregg Abbott, says that he is swiftly working to pardon Daniel Perry, a U.S. Army sergeant in Austin, who a jury convicted of murdering Garrett Foster in 2020. Foster was a Black Lives Matter protester. Abbott has since directed the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles to consider a pardon for Perry on an expedited basis. For instance, Abbott stated, “I look forward to approving the Board’s pardon recommendation as soon as it hits my desk.”
Abbotts’ move has been highly criticized by underrepresented groups in Texas. First, Cristina Ramirez Tweeted, “It’s time for Governor Abbott to listen to the people of Texas.” Ramirez went on to say Abbott should listen to the people “rather than to the voices of extreme conservatives and media personalities.” Joe Porter also Tweeted, “The racist governor of Texas is letting you know that murdering protesters is OK.” There were other voices, such as Black Aziz, who likened Abbotts’ move to Nazism, claiming that “Pardoning people who murder your political enemies is def something that the Nazis would do.”
Abbotts’ pledge to pardon Perry comes on the heels of evidence which showed Perry made numerous posts and direct messages on social media expressing his desire to shoot protesters in Austin, Texas. Irrespective of this evidence, Abbott is swiftly working to pardon the police officer.
Well-founded Fear: Freedom of Expression Under Threat as Texas Governor Seeks to Pardon Police Convicted of Murdering BLM Protester. How Did Texans Get Here?
In 2021, Abbott Tweeted that he “signed SEVEN pieces of legislation into law protecting #2A rights in Texas — including constitutional carry & making Texas a #2A sanctuary state.” In other words, Texas is now the Gun State of the nation.
As attorney general, Abbott opposed gun-control legislation. Moreover, in 2013, Abbott criticized New York State legislators for expanding an assault weapons ban and creating a high-capacity magazine ban. During the same year, he articulated that he would sue if Congress enacted a new gun-control bill.
In 2015, Abbott signed into law the right of Texans to carry firearms on campus, which may have spawned the 2018 Santa Fe High School shooting and the Robb Elementary School shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
Nearly 95% of individuals who quoted Abbott’s Tweet either thanked or congratulated his move, or requested that the Texas Governor pardon more police officers who murder protesters.