BlackTOP statement on Gov. Abbott pardoning convicted murderer Daniel Perry

The following statement is from Terrance “TK” Koontz of BlackTOP, in response to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott pardoning Daniel Perry, a man convicted last year of murdering Garrett Foster at a Black Lives Matter protest in Austin in 2020:

“Yesterday, Gov. Greg Abbott pardoned a convicted murderer, seemingly because in Abbott’s eyes Black lives have little if any value. 

“Our governor refuses to acknowledge the countless contributions that Black Texans have made and continue to make in spite of years of systemic oppression that our communities have endured. Black Texans have the right to demand humane treatment. Like countless politicians before him, his fear of acknowledging and taking accountability for the tragic history of anti-Black racism and racial capitalism in this state leads him to turn a blind eye when dehumanization is thrust upon Texans exercising their constitutional rights. These are Texans taking a stand against the brutalization of Black Americans at the hands of law enforcement, and who voice their support for our collective liberation. This is how much Abbott dreads doing what’s morally right.

“Being fully aware of the growing white nationalist wing of today’s Republican Party and folding to its pressure, Abbott’s decision to overturn the conviction of Daniel Perry is a clear signal that Black lives still do not matter in Texas. Furthermore, neither do the lives of any individuals who choose to stand up and fight for justice.

“It should infuriate every Texan who wholeheartedly believes in justice and freedom that we have in the Governor’s Mansion, a supposed “leader” who is afraid to stand for what is right and just for all his constituents. Rather than showing compassion for the Black community and working to find solutions that would benefit all Texans for generations to come, he twists our state’s legal system to avoid addressing anti-Black racism and holding far-right extremists accountable.

“The good news is no weapon formed against us will prosper. Our voices will not be silenced and our  movement will not relent. The millions of Black and Latino Texans who proudly reside in this state are certain to build the collective power required to create a future where ALL Texans can live free and thrive — regardless of our race, faith, gender, or background. THAT is the future BlackTOP is fighting for because we are stronger together!

“We extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Garrett Foster as they continue to grieve and process the loss of their loved one, especially after this appalling act from our governor.”


BlackTOP was built on the premise that the future of Texas rests in organizing Black folks across the state and getting US to the polls. With offices in Houston, Dallas and San Antonio, BlackTOP launched canvassing programs across multiple Texas counties to talk to, organize, and mobilize Black voters ahead of the 2022 election. For more information, visit