Austin: US Army Sergeant Daniel Perry Indicted for Murder of Garrett Foster

By the Editorial Board

On July 1, active-duty US Army sergeant Daniel Perry was indicted by a grand jury for charges of murder, deadly conduct, and aggravated assault for his murder of antiracist activist Garrett Foster. A Travis County judge placed the charges following a year of protests and actions demanding Perry’s conviction after he killed Foster during a protest for Black lives on July 25, 2020. At the time of his death, Foster had been protesting and organizing in Austin streets for nearly 50 days straight against police brutality since the May Uprisings erupted following the police murder of George Floyd.

Perry is reported to have turned himself in to Travis County Jail on Thursday once the charges were announced and was able to post bond in the amount of $300,000 and walk away within 15 minutes.

Tribune of the People has covered Foster’s story many times since his murder, celebrating his legacy as a servant of the people and defender of Black lives. We do not waver in our position, especially as Perry’s defense pushes twisted narratives in the bourgeois press to justify their client’s heinous act of murder.

A key lie presented by Perry’s defense attorneys is that their client feared for his life when protesters surrounded his car. The fact is, Perry had no reason to be in the middle of a protest other than to seek conflict. He intentionally drove his vehicle, ready and armed, into a large crowd of people who were marching down Congress Avenue in downtown Austin, hitting at least one protester prior to shooting Foster.

Perry’s motivations are clear in a series of social media posts made in the months prior to his act of murder, in which he rails against anti-Trump protesters and discusses the best way to shoot and kill one. Tribune investigations also uncovered a pattern of anti-social behavior stretching all the way back to high school, verified in conversations with Perry’s former high school classmates.

Perry has also cited the fact that Foster approached his vehicle carrying a rifle as reason to murder Foster. Foster had begun legally carrying a rifle to protests after developing the understanding that progressive and revolutionary protesters could not count on the police, the armed agents of the State, to protect them.

Protesters on the ground the day Foster was killed have maintained that he never raised his rifle or threatened Perry, but approached Perry’s car to investigate the situation after Perry had driven into the crowd. Foster’s intention that evening was to ensure that his partner, Whitney Mitchell, and other protesters, were safe.

Mitchell, a Black woman and quadruple amputee who relies on a wheelchair, has courageously continued to protest and fight for justice for her beloved husband, who was her full-time caretaker prior to his murder. In early April, the Austin Police Department (APD) attacked Mitchell and threw her out of her wheelchair as she and Foster’s supporters held a march to commemorate him. She has remained undeterred and continues to fight for justice not only for Foster, but also for other victims of this reactionary system, joining the struggle of the family of Alex Gonzales Jr., who was killed by APD in January.

Tribune extends our solidarity to Foster’s family and loved ones as they mark this step towards convicting Perry. It is the people who have achieved this victory through consistently honoring Foster and demanding justice for him since his death, and it is through organizing and fighting for these demands that people’s justice—justice that the people carry out themselves—will ultimately be won in this case.

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