West News Wire: According to a Texas jury’s decision on Friday, a US Army sergeant was found guilty of murder for fatally shooting an armed demonstrator in 2020 while participating in nationwide demonstrations against racial inequality and police brutality. 

In July 2020, Sgt. Daniel Perry, who was employed by a ride-hailing service, turned onto 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 happy with the verdict. We’re very sorry for his family as well. There’s no winners in this,” Stephen Foster, the victim’s father, told reporters Friday. 

The jury deliberated for two days. During closing arguments, Perry’s attorneys said he had no choice but to shoot Foster as he approached Perry’s car with an AK-47 rifle, the Austin American-Statesman reported. Prosecutors said Perry could have driven away before firing his revolver. 

Witnesses testified that Foster never raised his rifle at Perry, according to the newspaper. Perry, who did not testify, told police that Foster did. 

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, then-Police Chief Brian Manley said officers heard “two separate volleys of gunfire.” Officers made their way to the crowd, where they found Foster with multiple gunshot wounds. 

Manley said the driver, who was not named at the time, called 911 and reported the shooting, and that the second round of shots was fired by protesters who witnessed the shooting. 

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Perry was stationed at Fort Hood, about 70 miles (112 kilometers) north of Austin. The trial comes after attempts from Perry’s team to throw out the case over the past year. 

When Foster was killed, demonstrators in Austin and beyond had been marching in the streets for weeks following the police killing of George Floyd. Floyd died May 25, 2020, after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee against the Black man’s neck for more than nine minutes. Floyd, who was handcuffed, repeatedly said he couldn’t breathe. 

Floyd’s killing was recorded on video by a bystander and sparked worldwide protests as part of a broader reckoning over racial injustice. 


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