By ACACIA CORONADO Report for America/ Associated Press
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Forty people were arrested over two nights of weekend protests in Austin, police said Monday.
The majority of the 40 arrests were made downtown near the corner of 4th Street and Congress Avenue, the site of a makeshift memorial for Garrett Foster, a man who was fatally shot during a Black Lives Matter on July 25. Charges ranged from obstructing a highway to interfering with public duties and assaulting an officer.
A Dallas law firm identified the man who shot him as Sgt. Daniel Perry, a soldier at Fort Hood.
Perry has not been charged, and Austin police have not named him as a suspect in their investigation. A call was put out Thursday by Austin officers asking the public to come forward if they had relevant information.
Attorney Clint Broden, of Broden & Mickelsen, who is representing Perry, said his client shot Foster from inside his car in self-defense after he said Foster raised an assault rifle in Perry’s direction.
Austin police renewed their plea Monday for any witnesses to the confrontation and shooting to come forth with what they saw. The Austin Police Department posted images on its social media of persons that detectives hope will provide statements.
Broden told The Associated Press on Monday that his client’s earlier social media posts denouncing the protests were being taken out of context and that saying they showed his client went to Austin with the intention of interacting with protesters “is not serving the truth.”
“If you look at them, they are clearly supporting President Trump based on President Trump’s concerns about violent protests,” Broden said.
The Texas Tribune reported Friday that Perry responded to a June tweet by President Donald Trump calling demonstrators outside his campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, “protesters, anarchists, agitators, looters or lowlifes” that would “not be treated like you have been in New York, Seattle and Minneapolis.”
Perry reportedly tweeted, “Send them to Texas we will show them why we say don’t mess with Texas.”
Claims that Perry recently visited Foster’s memorial in Austin are false Broden said, adding that Perry has been confined to Fort Hood for his own safety since he Austin police interviewed his client about Foster’s killing.
Police said witnesses told them a disturbance began when a vehicle started honking at protesters July 25. The vehicle stopped as protesters crossed the street and Foster, who was holding an AK-47 type assault rifle, approached the driver’s side window. He was shot from inside the vehicle.
In video that was streamed live on Facebook, a car can be heard honking before several shots ring out and protesters start screaming and scattering. Police can then be seen tending to someone lying in the street.