Activism Articles

Garrett Foster ~ 2 years later

Today is the mournful anniversary of a tragic loss in Austin, Texas. Exactly 2 years ago to the day, a young man was shot dead during what was arguably a peaceful protest during the summer of 2020. He had been there for most of 30 days following the murder of George Floyd, the horror of which went viral with the aftermath being an eruption of protests nationwide, even worldwide. Not all was peaceful, not all protestors were of noble intent, but the night Garrett Foster was gunned down was, as he was.

The Austin Police Department was not a fan of Garrett, as he’d been criticizing their treatment of protestors, several of whom ended up permanently maimed or dead due to poorly employed tactics, if not purposeful lack of caring for the people whom they’re charged with protecting.

The man who killed Garrett was not immediately arrested, as police seemed glad to see Garrett go. Daniel Perry was finally brought up on criminal charges nearly a year after the fact, including murder, as he’d driven into a crowd of protestors in the streets, threatening to mow them down, including Garrett’s fiancée, Whitney Mitchell. There’s no trial date set yet; latest word is it won’t happen until sometime in 2023.

Both the victim and the murderer were legally carrying arms. Daniel claimed self-defense, except that Garrett was never seen on video nor by any witness to have raised his weapon from its low-ready position. Whereas Daniel had already developed a history of fantasizing about killing BLM protestors on his social media.

There will be no justice, because nobody can bring Garrett back to life. But it seems the road to any other justice has also been thwarted by a corrupt police department and its union, and others in the city government, exacerbated by political infighting.

The unjust loss of a good man, Garrett, left behind a family who knew his gentle, caring nature, and has carried on his torch for freedom & justice, along with the love of his life, Whitney.

Some of us were fortunate to know Garrett; some have come to know him for his ongoing legacy of liberty & love. Some were graced last year by his family’s courage in coming to a monthly meeting of the Libertarian Party of Travis County that invited, hosted, and welcomed them with open arms.

Following is a poignant post from a few days ago reprinted with permission by Garrett’s mother, Sheila Foster:

Here we are nearly two years later and here I am, feeling gut-punched, still. Missing my son more than you can possibly imagine. The same questions gnawing at me every day.

I feel like I’m in a never-ending episode of the twilight zone. One in which me and a small handful of people are the only ones who think this is crazy. Someone runs a red light accelerating into a crowd of pedestrians and there are no consequences for that. He then stops and rolls his window down and fires four bullets into a young man’s chest, killing him, speeds away and claims self defense, and walks without any consequences.

The APD released him, sent him back to Fort Hood where there are several unexplained murders being investigated, and then a month after my son’s death, they sent him to a different state. Alaska! The only reason I found out about that is because someone on Twitter said he was in her cafe, bragging to everyone about killing Garrett Foster. And still, no consequences.

Austin, TX: the place where you can literally get away with murder if the police don’t like the person you killed. They hated my son. Why? They hated him so much that one of their representatives got on CNN less than 48 hours after he died and publicly blamed him for his own death. Why? Why did the people who were supposed to be investigating the murder without bias, instantly jump on the side of the killer?

My son was protesting police brutality because of George Floyd and Mike Ramos. He started carrying because of what he witnessed during those protests. He witnessed dozens of other instances where armed police officers were physically hurting unarmed people just because of what those people were saying. He’d also witnessed civilians driving into the crowds trying to hurt peaceful protesters. He was carrying, within his legal rights, to protect himself and others from people who were literally attacking them.

And I believe that’s why the police hated him. He was doing their job better than they were. They should have protected the protesters’ rights. In fact, they should have been marching right beside them, protesting police brutality because they’re not willing to put up with it either. That’s what a good cop would have done. A good cop would have knocked Derek Chauvin off of George Floyd’s neck. A good cop would have shot the murderers who were shooting at Mike Ramos. And a good cop would have approached that killer’s driver side window to arrest him for driving into a crowd of pedestrians. Garrett’s last few years of life were spent angry at what he was seeing. He didn’t necessarily hate the police, he hated seeing people get abused and murdered by men in badges, with zero consequences. You do realize any violent nut job can pass an exam and put on a badge, right? That badge doesn’t miraculously turn a bad person into a good one. So why aren’t the good cops stopping the bad ones? Why aren’t the good cops protesting police brutality? I really want to know.

14 thoughts on “Garrett Foster ~ 2 years later

  1. Dear Judith,
    I am a long time Houston activist. I have helped people in several Texas cities on a variety of local issues. I’m sure I can help you bring change to the Austin PD, using a strategy that involves binding and non-binding (“advisory”) elections, and coalition building. Let me know if you would like more information.

    Article about my work: Forbes on-line: “Charter Amendments: The Future of Government Reform?”

    My landline: 713-224-4144

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *