On Monday, the trial of an army sergeant who shot and killed a protester during the summer 2020 demonstrations began. In Austin, Texas.
The shooting occurred during the Black Lives Matter demonstrations that have been taking place across the Texas capital and the rest of the United States for nearly three years.
Sgt. Daniel Berry, who was stationed in Fort Hood at the time, was driving for Uber to earn extra money in downtown Austin on the night of July 25, 2020, when he encountered a large Crowd of demonstrators. They were illegally blocking city streets that night according to police, as have protesters in Austin and elsewhere during weeks of rioting.
Among the protesters was Garrett Foster, 28, who was carrying an AK-47. Perry’s defense team says that protesters surrounded his car and began pounding his car and that Foster raised the firearm at Perry, prompting him to open fire with a handgun he was legally carrying in self-defense.
“When Garrett Foster aimed his AK-47 at Daniel Perry, Daniel had one-tenth of a second to defend himself. He chose to live,” Perry’s attorney, Doug O’Connell, told Fox News Digital in a statement.
“It might be legal in Texas to carry an assault rifle in downtown Austin. It doesn’t make it a good idea. If you point a firearm at someone, you’re responsible for whatever happens afterward.”
Meanwhile, other protesters who witnessed the scuffle told the Texas Tribune that they believed Perry “incited violence” and “knowingly and forcefully rushed into a crowd.”
Berry drove to safety away from the scene of the accident and called 911 to report what had happened. The officers talked to Berry that night and released him, but the grand jury returned An indictment for premeditated murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon one year later in July 2021.
The indictment itself was not without controversy. Detective David Fugit, the highly respected lead investigator on the case and known locally as the “Godfather of the Homicide Unit” has claimed In an affidavit In August 2021, prosecutors under Travis County District Attorney Jose Garza, one of several district attorneys funded by left-wing billionaire George Soros, forced him to remove exculpatory evidence from his grand jury presentation.
“It became clear to me that the District Attorney’s Office did not want to present evidence to the grand jury that would exonerate Daniel Perry and/or show that witness statements obtained by Garrett Foster’s family and/or their attorneys were inconsistent with prior interviews. These “witnesses” were provided to the police. and/or a video of the incident in question,” Fugate wrote in the affidavit.
Garza’s tenure as DA was controversial from the start. a Investigate local news He found that his office had dropped hundreds of criminal cases. Garza also sought indictments against the nearly two dozen APD officers who responded to the 2020 riots, which included an attempt to take control of police headquarters in downtown Austin.
Sgt. O’Connell said Perry’s defense team will call Detective Fugit, the lead investigator, as a witness to testify at the trial because prosecutors do not plan to contact him.
The Travis County District Attorney’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday night.
Jury selection began Monday.
Fox News’ Andrew Mark Miller and Brian Preston contributed to this report.