Garrett Foster: Austin police union chief says BLM protester was shot dead as he was 'looking for trouble'
The president of the Austin Police Association said that the armed Black Lives Matter protester who was shot by a motorist had been looking for trouble and had "found it".
However, witnesses have come forward to say that it was actually the driver who had instigated and incited violence. APA president Kenneth Casaday made the comment on Twitter on July 26. He had posted a video of the victim, 28-year-old Garrett Foster speaking to a reporter as to why he had decided to carry an Ak-47 while protesting on the same night that he had been fatally shot.
Casady wrote, "This is the guy that lost his life last night. He was looking for confrontation and he found it." Foster was killed by a motorist who had plowed through a crowd of protesters. In the video Casady shared on his social media handle, Foster is asked why he's carrying the gun, to which he replies, "They don’t let us march in the streets anymore so gotta practice some our rights. If I use it against the cops, I’m dead. I think all the people that hate us and want to say s**t to us are too big of p***y to stop and do anything about it."
While protesting against police brutality, a car barreled into the crowd and someone inside opened fire on the protesters. Foster was shot by the motorist when he approached the vehicle intending to confront the driver. He was shot thrice while trying to protect his disabled fiancée, Whitney Mitchell, and was immediately taken to the hospital where shortly afterward, he was pronounced dead
Casaday had reiterated his declaration to CNN's Chris Cuomo on July 27, where he had accused Foster of "picking a fight" by walking around with an assault rifle even though Foster had a license to carry a gun in the state.
Cuomo said, "I’m surprised to be hearing this from someone from Texas," before adding that the state's laws would allow Foster to carry the weapon "wherever he wanted".
Casaday was asked as to why he seemed as though he was celebrating the death of Foster, to which he responded saying, "He comes out on these videos saying, 'nobody’s gonna stop me because everyone’s a bunch of p*****s'. And he said he wouldn’t point it at cops because he knew he’d get shot. So when you tell citizens of Austin you can march where you want and nobody can stop you because they’re a bunch of p*****s — I think that’s relevant."
Cuomo also questioned Casaday as to whether he would consider apologizing for his comments, given that he represents law enforcement and has taken an oath to protect and serve. In response, Casaday said, "Maybe in hindsight, it wasn't the best thing to do, but I stand by what I did.... I just think that it was the best thing for the community to know at that time."
Casaday had also said that Foster had been protesting outside of the City Manager's house with his rifle. "You look like you're picking a fight when you're out standing in front of the city manager's house intimidating them," Casaday said.
Foster died from multiple gunshot wounds. According to his friends and family, Foster was at the BLM protest along with his fiance, who is a quadruple amputee. Witnesses have said that the driver, who is yet to be identified, was the one to cause trouble before allegedly shooting Foster dead.