Unsealed documents in Daniel Perry case show social media comments about killing protesters, Muslims

Apr 14, 2023, 3:48 PM

Unsealed documents from the Daniel Perry case show he made comments on social media about killing p...

Unsealed documents from the Daniel Perry case show he made comments on social media about killing protesters and Muslims, Houston Chronicle reports. Perry is pictured at the Blackwell-Thurman Criminal Justice Center in Austin, Texas, on April 7. (Jay Janner/USA Today Network via REUTERS)

(Jay Janner/USA Today Network via REUTERS)

(CNN) — As the Texas pardons board considers a request from Gov. Greg Abbott to pardon a man convicted last week of fatally shooting a protester at a Black Lives Matter rally, newly unsealed documents show the Army sergeant talked about killing people and shared racist comments on social media.

The documents from the case against Daniel Perry contain messages and posts made over several years. They were originally filed March 27 and were unsealed by a Travis County judge Thursday. The Houston Chronicle was first to report on the documents.

Perry, a White man, was convicted last Friday on a murder charge in the July 2020 shooting death of Garrett Foster, who was also White, at a racial justice rally in Austin held in the wake of George Floyd’s death at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer.

In a Facebook message from May 2020, just weeks before the shooting, Perry told a friend he “might have to kill a few people” who were rioting outside his apartment.

The documents also contain a May 2020 text sent by Perry that said, “I might go to Dallas to shoot looters.” Some messages included “white power” memes.

Perry wrote in a 2019 message that it was “to bad we can’t get paid for hunting Muslims in Europe.”

On the night of July 25, 2020, Perry was working as a ride-share driver and had just dropped someone off near the rally when he shot Foster. His attorneys argued the shooting was in self-defense after Foster approached his car with an assault-style rifle. Prosecutors argued Perry initiated the encounter by running a red light and turning into the crowd gathered at the protest.

Shortly after Perry’s conviction, Abbott said he would seek a pardon and asked the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles for an expedited review of the case.

“Texas has one of the strongest ‘Stand Your Ground’ laws of self-defense that cannot be nullified by a jury or a progressive District Attorney,” Abbott posted in a statement on Twitter.

On Friday, Abbott’s office indicated there would be no change of position regarding his call for a pardon.

“All pertinent information is for the Board of Pardons and Paroles to consider, as this is part of the review process required by the Texas Constitution,” Renae Eze, an Abbott spokesperson, told CNN in a statement.

In addition to Perry’s murder conviction, the jury found him not guilty on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. A deadly conduct charge is still pending with the county attorney’s office.

Perry’s attorney, Clint Broden, called the release of the documents a political decision in a statement to CNN.

Broden said Foster also made social media posts advocating for violence and supporting riots, most of which can’t be made public due to Texas discovery rules. A few posts are public, however, including a post praising the burning down of a Minneapolis police station in 2020.

Broden accused Travis County District Attorney José Garza of choosing to “take full advantage” of being able to share his client’s social media posts at this point in the case.

Perry’s legal team filed a motion Tuesday asking for a new trial, arguing the defense team was not allowed to introduce evidence they believe showed Foster repeatedly instigated confrontations and harassed other drivers on the streets before the night of the deadly shooting.

Garza’s office called it a standard motion following a conviction and said it has “full confidence in the guilty verdict.”

CNN has also reached out to the governor’s office for comment. An attorney for the Foster family declined to comment on the unsealed documents.

Perry criticized the Black Lives Matter movement, report says

In a social media status posted on June 1, 2020, Perry said, “It is official I am a racist because I do not agree with people acting like animals at the zoo. I was on the side of the protestors until they started with the looting and the violence,” the documents show.

A comment from the same day shows Perry compared the “black lives matter movement to a zoo full of monkeys that are freaking out flinging their sh*t,” the documents show.

In another post from May 31, 2020, Perry posted, “If this symbol represents racism in America… (shows confederate flag) SO DO THESE (shows NAACP logo, Hispanic Scholarship fund, America Association for Affirmative Action, BET, UNCP, the democratic party logo, etc,” according to the documents.

Perry’s posts were made amid a racial reckoning across the US after graphic video of Floyd’s death showed a police officer kneeling on the Black man as he is prone and handcuffed on a Minneapolis street. In the months that followed, protests were held in cities across the county. Most were peaceful but some turned violent, including instances of vandalism and arson.

Abbott on Saturday said he is “working as swiftly as Texas law allows regarding the pardon of Sgt. Perry.”

Abbott can only pardon Perry if the state Board of Pardons and Paroles recommends it, according to Texas law. The board said Monday it had received Abbott’s request for an expedited pardon review and it would be “commencing that investigation immediately.”

Garza said Abbott’s intervention in the case before the sentencing and appeal process plays out is “deeply troubling.”

The prosecutor asked the board to meet with him so he can present evidence considered by jurors in the case, Garza said in a statement.

Garza also asked the board to meet with Foster’s family and consider the public safety implications of their decision before making a final recommendation.

“For as long the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has existed, it has been a cautious steward of the power of clemency in our State,” Garza said. “We look forward to working with the Board to present all evidence necessary for its consideration.”

A civil attorney representing Foster’s family also criticized Abbott’s move for a pardon before the sentencing and appeals process, saying it “turns the rule of law on its head.”

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2023 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

KSL 5 TV Live

National News

Iowa guard Caitlin Clark reacts to fans during an Iowa women's basketball team celebration, Wednesd...

Doug Feinberg, The Associated Press

Iowa star Caitlin Clark makes surprise appearance on ‘Saturday Night Live’

The Iowa star made a surprise appearance on “Saturday Night Live” during the show's “ Weekend Update ” segment.

6 hours ago

Congressional leaders from both parties still remain at odds on how to pass additional Israel fundi...

Michelle Shen and Melanie Zanona, CNN

Congressional leaders at odds over Israel aid next steps, conservatives issue warning to Speaker Johnson

Congressional leaders from both parties were quick to condemn Iran’s retaliatory strikes on Israel this Saturday but still remain at odds on how to pass additional Israel funding in wake of the attacks.

12 hours ago

This image released by A24 shows Kirsten Dunst in a scene from "Civil War." (Murray Close/A24 via A...

Lindsey Bahr, The Associated Press

‘Civil War’ declares victory at box office

Alex Garland’s provocative “ Civil War ” didn’t only ignite the discourse. The film also inspired audiences to go to the cinemas this weekend where it surpassed expectations and earned $25.7 million in ticket sales in North America, according to studio estimates Sunday.

12 hours ago

Tyrese Simmons, the man accused of firing into a Dallas apartment and killing a 9-year-old girl in ...

Robbie Owens, KTVT via CNN

Rapper accused of fatally shooting 9-year-old girl could get plea deal

Tyrese Simmons, a man accused of firing into a Dallas apartment and killing a 9-year-old girl in a feud with another rapper, could get a plea deal.

14 hours ago

U.S. President Joe Biden speaking on April 12....

MJ Lee and Kevin Liptak, CNN

Biden tells Netanyahu US will not participate in counter-strike against Iran

President Joe Biden and senior members of his national security team, seeking to contain the risk of a wider regional war following a barrage of Iranian missiles and drones directed toward Israel, have told their counterparts the US will not participate in any offensive action against Iran, according to US officials familiar with the matter.

17 hours ago

FILE - In this July 20, 2017 file photo, former NFL football star O.J. Simpson reacts after learnin...

Associated Press

Executor of O.J. Simpson’s estate plans to fight payout to the families of Brown and Goldman

The executor of O.J. Simpson’s estate says he will work to prevent a payout of a $33.5 million judgment awarded by a California civil jury nearly three decades ago in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the families of Simpson’s ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.

1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Unsealed documents in Daniel Perry case show social media comments about killing protesters, Muslims