AUSTIN (KXAN) — The family of protester Garrett Foster is suing the man accused of shooting and killing him nearly two years ago as well as rideshare company Uber.
Last summer, Daniel Perry was indicted on a few charges including murder in Foster’s shooting death, which took place during a Black Lives Matter protest in downtown Austin in July 2020.
Previously, the Austin Police Department said a car turned onto Congress Avenue near Fourth Street into a group of marching protesters. Protesters surrounded the car, including Foster, who was armed with an assault-style weapon. That’s when the driver of the car fired five shots from inside the vehicle, according to APD. Foster was hit multiple times. He didn’t fire his own weapon.
Perry, whose attorney identified him as the driver of the car, said he was driving for Uber during that time.
Foster family attorney Quentin Brogdon explained they’re suing Uber “to get answers about exactly what Uber knew and when, and to force Uber and the ride-share industry to live up to promises they’ve made about the safety of their users and the public.”
The lawsuit claims Uber should have known Perry “was a dangerous, ticking time-bomb who was ready to go off at the slightest provocation,” and that he had threatened to shoot protesters before.
The lawsuit also said while Uber has a policy preventing its drivers from carrying guns, the rideshare company didn’t enforce it, especially in Perry’s case.
After reaching out to Uber for comment, a spokesperson responded, saying, “Unfortunately we aren’t able to comment on pending litigation. As we’ve released in the past, this incident is not related to the Uber platform.”
In regard to Perry, the lawsuit claims he revved his car engine several times to try to intimidate protesters, then ran a red light and accelerated toward the group at a high speed.
However, Perry’s attorney, Clint Broden, released a page-long statement in response to the lawsuit, reiterating Perry acted in self defense, because Foster was approaching Perry’s vehicle while carrying “in the ready position” an assault-style rifle.
Part of Broden’s statement read, “While Sgt. Perry regrets having to defend himself on July 25, 2020, that fact remains that any reasonable person in his position when confronted by Foster’s assault weapon would have done the same thing. Sgt. Perry understands the natural reaction of Foster’s family to want to portray Foster as a martyr, but Foster’s history and actions, not only that night but also leading up to that night, show he was no martyr.”
The Foster family is just hoping this doesn’t happen to another family. Sheila Foster, Garrett’s mother, released the following statement through the family’s lawyer:
“It’s my hope that my son’s story will now be told by the media. He stayed with, and cared for Whitney Mitchell, his quadruple amputee fiancée for ten years after she lost all four of her limbs. He was a veteran of the United States Air Force, and he believed passionately in the Constitution and protecting our freedoms and our rights, including the right to free speech and the right to bear arms.”
Foster’s family is seeking monetary relief with a jury determining the fair amount of compensation, according to the lawsuit.