No charges for FedEx driver who fatally punched a man that called him racial slurs
Timothy Warren was compelled to defend himself when a racist man verbally attacked him on September 26. He threw a punch that ended up killing the attacker, but he won't be charged.
Warren, a FedEx worker, was driving along Northeast Hoyt Street and Northeast 29th Avenue in Portland making deliveries. Like most people, he was minding his own business.
Oregon Live reports that a man named Joseph Magnuson, 55, called out to Warren that he was going too fast. Warren replied that he simply wanted to finish work that day.
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Magnuson not only persisted, but he also began attacking Warren with racial slurs. According to witnesses, he used the n-word as well as several curse words to insult Warren.
Warren, who is black, was not having it. He got out of his vehicle and addressed Magnuson head on. Things heated up until Magnuson decided to get physical.
The older man took a swing at Warren but missed. In response, Warren returned the act. His fist connected with just above Magnuson's left eye, rendering him unconscious as he fell to the ground.
Later that evening, Magnuson passed away. Prosecutors spoke to at least six witnesses of the interaction, three of which gave reliable accounts of what happened.
Their story matched with Warren's: he was acting in self-defense. Prosecutors determined that they would not charge Warren as he never intended to kill Magnuson.
The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office consulted with a medical examiner. According to a memo, the examiner said Magnuson's death resulted from "extremely poor health."
He had pre-existing medical conditions which were aggravated by the fall. The punch by itself was not a fatal blow.
Furthermore, Senior Deputy District Attorney Adam Gibbs dismissed the suggestion that Warren could have avoided the fight by ignoring Magnuson.
"The decision by Mr. Warren, who is black, to not let the racist vitriol to which he was being subjected go unanswered is not of legal significance.”
Indeed, Oregan has no law calling for a "duty to retreat." Hence, Warren had full rights to choose to leave his vehicle and confront Magnuson.
“Mr. Magnuson was the initial verbal aggressor; Mr. Warren responded in kind. Mr. Magnuson then escalated and became the initial physical aggressor; Mr. Warren again responded in kind.”
In conclusion, Gibbs summarized:
“Mr. Magnuson’s actions, as reported by all three witnesses and Mr. Warren, gave rise to a reasonable belief on Mr. Warren’s part that a limited use of force was necessary to prevent injury to himself.”
News of the incident follows another case of verbal abuse earlier this month. This time, the tables were turned when a black Burger King worker spouted insults at a Hispanic couple.
Believing them to be white, the woman was recorded as she hurled degrading remarks at the couple. The pair wanted to get a refund of their order due to a hygiene complaint.
Though it had nothing to do with her, this prompted the woman to anger. Her inappropriate words subsequently caused her to lose her job.
Although these jobs are considered low-paying, they are needed for many who want to make a decent living. Now, thanks to Amazon.com Inc., it looks like more people will get the opportunity to have a stable job.
Amazon just ordered 20,000 delivery vans. Should UPS and FedEx be worried? https://t.co/ZSe5KPdwJm— CNBC (@CNBC) September 18, 2018
CNBC reported that the company ordered 20,000 delivery vans from Mercedes-Benz. This appears to be all part of Amazon's plans to offer delivery services to the public.
They will, of course, face competition from the United Parcel Service Inc. Either way, we hope that future drivers won't have to deal with any forms of abuse as they strive for a good living just like the rest of us.
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