Texas civil rights activist murdered by right-wing extremist with furry fan background
by Patch O'Furr
Months of protest and two killings
Michael Ramos was a Black and Latino man killed by Austin police in April 2020. Since April, hundreds of concerned citizens have been organizing demonstrations as the Mike Ramos Brigade to protest police brutality and call for justice.
This week, their member Garrett Foster was killed while supporting the cause. A video from the scene had a witness report of how they were attacked by a reckless driver who drove into the crowd and shot at them from inside the car. Foster’s killer drove away, but they got his license number.
Garrett Foster died on Saturday, July 25. He was a military veteran and had been pushing his disabled fiance in a wheelchair on another one of nearly 50 days of protesting together. “Garrett’s death painfully reminds us of Heather Heyer’s death in Charlottesville when a pro-Nazi white supremacist deliberately drove his car into a crowd of protesters.” – Mike Ramos Brigade
From the car plates, the killer was identified as Daniel Perry. His lawyer admitted he was the shooter.
The police handling raised a double standard about the deaths of Ramos and Foster. Police shot the unarmed Ramos in his car for supposedly endangering them while he pulled out of a parking space. But after Perry drove his car into a crowd and shot five times, the police let him go. Apparently driving was instigating a threat when an unarmed black man was at the wheel, but that wasn’t the case with a white shooter.
Thin Blue Lies
Who are the real victims here? And why was Daniel Perry released?
The Austin Chronicle reports how public outrage rose when Police Chief Brian Manley played judge and jury. Chief Manley “stated as fact that the driver had inadvertently turned into the crowd, which then began to attack the car“. Garrett Foster was carrying a gun in an open-carry state, so the violence was blamed on the victim for allegedly pointing the gun at Perry — but the Chronicle say there’s no evidence for that claim, and the story is “at odds with the statements of numerous witnesses as well as bystander video”.
It must be the story Perry told to police, who ignored certain evidence to hand him a “stand your ground” defense. It’s also the story being pushed by swarms of internet trolls. But there’s evidence of premeditated violence by Perry.
A dashcam video shows his car made a swift turn into the crowd at a red light without stopping, and he fired shots in only 6 seconds. The situation matches his right-wing pro-violence internet posting (and even allegedly taunting mourners at the vigil for the man he killed.)
As a detail of interest to furry readers, Perry has a Furaffinity account too — and his sympathizers are using Shouts to praise the violence, in a manner previously reported here about hate groups misusing the site.
A reader writes in:
“In reading your breakdowns of far-right extremism and its links to our fandom like (Terror, Teens, and Furaffinity — How a chain of violent hate incidents links to furry fandom), I had my doubts. They seemed far-fetched and outside the realm of possibility. I was wrong.
My hometown is feeling just how wrong we were now. We should’ve listened. We could’ve prevented a tragedy like this if we’d just noticed the signs sooner.
Protests and police requests are ongoing to obtain further footage from visible security cameras mounted on businesses in the area. Hopes are high, given previous incidents in the area provoked greater attention. (A gay bashing of a couple with 4 suspects arrested.)”
It’s nice to get thanks for reporting but it shouldn’t be for a story like this. Hopefully Furaffinity and other platforms inside the fandom and out are paying attention.
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