State Attorney Jack Campbell has made the decision not to charge the driver of a red truck that was involved in an altercation with protesters in downtown Tallahassee on May 30.
Campbell called the action by the driver a “reasonable use of force” and stated that a protester was punching someone in the truck before the truck moved through the protesters. Protestors had surrounded the vehicle on Monroe Street.
In addition, Campbell said that a protestor involved in incident stated he did not believe the driver intended to hit him.
Other factors noted by Campbell:
“Although the Tallahassee Police Department offered to assist protest organizers by blocking off a safe area for the event, these protesters chose not to utilize that service. Consequently, there were no traffic control devices or other safety measures in place at the time of the incident.”
“In assessing whether the force [the driver] used was reasonable, there is no evidence that [the driver] specifically aimed the truck at persons or intended to harm anyone. To the contrary, he navigated the crowd in such a way that very few minor injuries were sustained.”
Initial reports of the incident were based on a video that seemed to indicate the driver deliberately drove through a crowd of protestors without provocation. However, other videos, including one published by Tallahassee Reports, showed a protester punching through the passenger side window of the truck before the truck began moving forward.