By Noah Long
Earlier this month, a fundraiser for US Army sergeant Daniel Perry, the man who murdered antiracist activist Garrett Foster in Austin in July 2020, was pulled off of the GoFundMe website for violating its terms of service. Aided by the Fox News media monopoly, Perry’s defense team has since promoted a fundraiser on another website, GoGetFunding, which has raised over $80,000.
A spokesperson for GoFundMe told Fox News that after the fundraiser on their site was reviewed, it was “found to be in violation of GoFundMe Terms of Service, and subsequently removed. GoFundMe prohibits raising money for the legal defense of a violent crime.”
Perry was indicted for charges of murder, deadly conduct, and aggravated assault only on July 1 of this year, after a year of struggle by Foster’s family and community members demanding justice for Foster’s murder. The GoGetFunding page provides Perry’s defense with a flow of funds from the reactionaries who celebrate Perry for murdering a protester for Black Lives.
On July 25, 2020, Perry turned his car into the middle of a march against racist police brutality in Austin with his gun at the ready, slowing down in the middle of the protesters. Foster, who was open-carrying a rifle to defend the march, approached the vehicle to investigate this aggressive act. When Foster was at Perry’s window, Perry shot Foster point-blank multiple times in cold blood.
Perry’s defense team has concocted a lie that protesters hit their client’s car with bricks as part of their attempt to justify Perry’s act of murder, a fabrication which has been promoted by Fox News and is repeated on Perry’s new fundraiser. GoGetFunding’s terms of services say that “false, misleading, dishonest statements,” are not permitted on fundraising campaigns.
A representative for GoGetFunding responded to inquiries from Tribune, stating that the, “fundraiser is giving [Perry’s] version of events” and that “[they] will allow the campaign to continue at this time.”
Tribune spoke with one protester (who wishes to remain anonymous) who was there the night of Foster’s murder. He said as the protest was moving through a downtown intersection, “Perry ignored the stop light and drove directly into the crowd of people, even hitting some of them as he turned.”
He said there were “absolutely not” any bricks used by protesters, adding, “His defense is desperate and Perry is afraid.”
After Perry shot Foster, an unknown protester fired a pistol at Perry in order to defend the march, and Perry sped off. Perry called the police afterwards, who questioned him for a short period, then allowed him to leave without pressing any charges.
In the months before his act of murder, Perry primed himself to attack protesters. Social media posts from his account (now taken down) include a reply to one tweet by Donald Trump about antiracist protesters in which Perry wrote, “Send them to Texas we will show them why we say don’t mess with Texas.” The same thread includes Perry explaining that the best place to shoot someone is “center of mass.” Perry’s GoGetFunding page states that Perry “aimed center mass” when he shot Foster.
Last year, Tribune spoke with former high school classmates of Perry who described him as an anti-social person who frequently used racial slurs for Black and Asian people. One former classmate, who wished to remain anonymous, said Perry, “would fly into the face of conflict just to start shit,” and instigated many fights at school. The classmate did not buy Perry’s ‘self-defense’ argument, agreeing with witnesses that, “[Perry] rolled down the window with the intent to shoot.”
Daniel Perry’s anti-people crime parallels that of Kyle Rittenhouse, who murdered antiracist protesters in Kenosha, and walked away from a murder trial with a “not guilty” verdict last month. The ruling-class court system has blatantly shown that it will protect reactionaries like Rittenhouse who gun down protesters fighting for Black lives. Reactionaries have rallied around Perry and Rittenhouse as figureheads of anti-people, murderous violence. Those fighting for Foster have a long struggle ahead and deserve the full support of the progressive and revolutionary movements, for which Foster sacrificed his life.
In an interview this week with Foster’s mother, Sheila Foster, she told Tribune, “Everyone [keeps] telling me that if Garrett hadn’t have been there that it could have been them. … If he truly saved your life, then live like he did. Honor him with your time that you have left.”
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