Abbott Should Have Issued Imminent Threat Alert To Texans Along With His Perry Pardon

Widely circulating photo of Garrett Foster with his rifle in "low ready" defensive position just before his murder.
Widely circulating photo of Garrett Foster with his rifle in “low ready” defensive position just before his murder.

Last year, Texas governor Greg Abbott announced his plan to pardon a convicted, unrepentant murderer at the first opportunity. On May 16, Abbott fulfilled his threat, terminating Daniel Perry’s 25-year sentence and putting him back on the streets of The Lone Star State.

The occasion merits an Imminent Threat Alert concerning “imminent threats to safety or life” as codified in the US Emergency Alert System.

In 2020, Perry — after announcing his obsessive desire to murder protesters multiple times on socialĀ  media — ran a red light to put his car into the middle of a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters, then murdered libertarian activist Garrett Foster.

Perry later claimed that he acted in “self-defense,” even though he admitted in to police that Foster, who was carrying a rifle (as he was entitled by right to do), never pointed that rifle at him.

A jury didn’t buy the bogus self-defense claim, but Abbott saw an opportunity to “own the libs” by pleasing people who don’t like Black Lives Matter protesters. Hence the pardon.

So now Texans have a known and unrepentant murdererĀ  loose among them, and those Texans have no reason whatsoever to believe that he won’t treat the pardon as license to murder again.

Fortunately, Texans also have a “stand your ground” law which, in theory at least, should protect them from Perry even more than it protected Perry (the assailant, not the victim, when he murdered Foster). It provides that “a person is justified in using force against another when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect the actor against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful force.”

If you happen to see Daniel Perry approaching you on the street, what could possibly be more reasonable than to believe that a man who has murdered before, then received a pat on the back and a get out of jail free card from the governor himself, is about to murder you too … and to react accordingly?

The world would likely be a safer place today if Garrett Foster had been able to get his rifle up in time to defend himself from Perry. Texas would certainly be a safer place today if a soft on (Republican-base-pleasing) crime governor hadn’t turned Perry loose.

Be safe out there, Texans. Avoid Perry if you can. Put him down like the rabid dog he is if you must.

Thomas L. Knapp (Twitter:@thomaslknapp) is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism ( He lives and works in north central Florida.