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Growing Up

Garrett Foster was born on December 4, 1992 in Plano, Texas, to parents Stephen Paul Foster and Sheila Joyce Foster. Sheila describes her son as "one of the best men you would ever know." He was a compassionate friend, a loyal partner, and a vehement advocate for justice and equality. Growing up in a conservative suburb of Dallas, Garrett was not afraid of speaking out against racism, police brutality, and imperialism. 

He met his lifelong partner, Whitney Mitchell, when they were both 17. They connected over a mutual love of music, and frequently attended Cochella, Afro-Punk, FunFunFun fest, SXSW, and ACL. After only a year of dating, Whitney developed a health condition that led to her using a wheelchair.  During this difficult time, Garrett and Whitney's bond only strengthened, as he stepped up to support her in every way possible, and they spent everyday together.

Aside from caring for Whitney, Garrett also enjoyed playing tabletop fantasy games such as Warhammer and taking care of his pet Tegu "Betelgeuse". Eventually, Garrett enlisted in the military as a means of seeking financial security.


His Time in the Military

Two months after Whitney's operation, Garrett Foster left for US Air Force basic and technical training, before eventually being stationed in North Dakota, where he worked as an aircraft flight mechanic. Not only was the work extremely physically demanding, as Garrett sustained permanent damage to his knees by working on bombers, but he was also burdened by depression and existential guilt from working on machinery that would go on to carry out wars in foreign nations, destroying homes and killing innocent people. Garrett hoped to have Whitney living with him while he was stationed in North Dakota, however a lack of wheelchair accessibility on base prevented them from being together. After two years, Whitney's condition worsened and he sought leave from the military, receiving an honorable discharge to become her primary caretaker. 


Feeding the Homeless

Garrett's immense kindness and conviction are evidenced by the time he spent serving and protecting others, especially those that were most vulnerable to discrimination. Often times, he shared his love of cooking with the community by smoking turkeys and cooking burgers to serve to unhoused individuals in Austin. It was important to him that they not only be fed, but that they receive a delicious, quality meal that made them feel valued as a human beings. He also made a point to set up meal distributions in front of the Austin Police Department headquarters, in order to communicate his frustration at the ineffectiveness of the police in serving the community. 

Protecting Protestors

The killing of George Floyd took place on May 25, 2020, setting off months of mass protests around the country. Garrett was disgusted by the brutality of George Floyd’s death and, like millions of others, brought the struggle against oppression into the streets. As Black Lives Matter protests emerged in Austin during the summer of 2020, the masses began demanding an end to police brutality, and Garrett and Whitney quickly became indispensable fixtures at the protests. They marched with others in the streets of downtown Austin for almost 50 consecutive days, leading up to the night of July 25th. Every day they marched, Garrett witnessed acts of egregious violence enacted upon protesters by counter protesters and police. There were unjustified arrests, bean bag shots from point blank range, hails of rubber bullets, and reactionary intimidation tactics. Ultimately, Garrett decided to arm himself so that he could better protect the people around him.​​​​​​​


The Night Garrett Died

On July 25th, 2020, Garrett and Whitney attended a protest in solidarity with protestors in Oregon, who were facing intense police repression during demonstrations. Garrett attended this protest while openly carrying a gun, a safety precaution Garrett had started taking in the wake of police and reactionary violence. The protest made its way through downtown Austin, as the crowd approached the corner of 4th and Congress, a car driven by Daniel Perry pushed its way through the crowd of protesters. Garrett, concerned for the safety of the other protesters, put himself between the car and the protesters. Daniel Perry then shot Garrett Foster through his car window and sped away. Garrett spent his last seconds trying to ensure the safety of all those protesting, and in doing so he gave his life to save otheres. Garrett Foster died how he lived, as a servant and protector of the people.​​​​​​​


His Message and Effect on the World

Garrett's death still lays heavy on the hearts and souls of the people of Austin and around the world. Garrett is not simply a protestor, but a person who put his life on the line protecting those who wished to see an end to police brutality and racist oppression. His dedication to fighting injustice was ultimately met with reactionary violence and state negligence because of the powerful example he left activists. His death and the struggle for justice for Garrett Foster highlights the ever growing importance of our right to protest, and our right to safety will doing so. Justice for Garrett is the first step in a long journey of combatting reactionary violence and tackling the state negligence that allows and encourages it.

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