Authorities in Oregon will not prosecute an African American delivery driver who fatally punched a man who was shouting racial slurs on the street in Portland, it was announced on Monday.
Prosecutors in Multnomah County said that there is no indication that Timothy Warren, a FedEx driver, intended to kill Joseph Magnuson during a September 26 altercation near the corner of Northeast Hoyt Street and Northeast 29th Avenue.
Magnuson, who witnesses say initiated the confrontation by hurling the N-word at Warren as well as ‘other aggressive and abusive phrases’, was later determined by medical examiners to be in ‘extremely poor health,’ according to The Oregonian.
According to witnesses, Warren was driving his FedEx truck slowly after turning onto Hoyt.
At that point, Magnuson began yelling ‘very aggressively’ for Warren to slow down, according to authorities.
Warren then stopped the truck and tried to speak to Magnuson, who kept escalating hostilities.
Prosecutors in Multnomah County said that there is no indication that Timothy Warren, a FedEx driver, intended to kill Joseph Magnuson during a September 26 altercation near the corner of Northeast Hoyt Street and Northeast 29th Ave. A FedEx truck is seen in the above stock image
Both men were seen yelling at each when Magnuson threw a drink at Warren, witnesses said.
Other witnesses reported seeing Magnuson hurl a bag of food at Warren, but others said Warren knocked the bag out of Magnuson’s hand.
Magnuson is then alleged to have thrown a punch at Warren that did not connect.
Warren then hit Magnuson, striking him in the face. Magnuson collapsed to the ground and lost consciousness.
Warren then remained at the scene until police arrived and cooperated with the investigation, according to prosecutors.
After being targeted with racial slurs, Warren stopped his truck and tried to speak with Magnuson, according to a memo written by Senior Deputy District Attorney Adam Gibbs.
Though Magnuson likely would still be alive if Warren ignored him, ‘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,’ according to Gibbs.
‘Oregon law contains no “duty to retreat” and Mr. Warren was within his right to exit his vehicle and verbally challenge the manner in which Mr. Magnuson was addressing him,’ the memo said.
‘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.’
Gibbs wrote that Magnuson’s toxicology results ‘are not of significance to the legal analysis.’