No Charges For Truck Driver Who Accelerated Into Tallahassee Protesters
State Attorney Jack Campbell isn’t pressing charges against the driver of a truck who accelerated into a crowd of protesters on May 30. The incident in Tallahassee was captured on numerous cell phone videos.
In a letter to Tallahassee Police Chief Lawrence Revell, Campbell writes the driver didn’t know a protest was underway because protesters had refused an offer to have roadways blocked off.
Activists have demanded the driver be charged, and students recently raised concerns about it in an online meeting with Revell.
“He got to use his truck and ride through a group of people and he got to go home," said one Florida State University Student.
"We have to protect suspects from crowds," Revell responded. "We can’t allow them to be taken by crowds and beaten. So we have an obligation to protect even the suspects.”
The driver admits to revving his engine in an attempt to get the protestors to move. Afterward, some appear to turn on the truck and some videos show a passenger in the vehicle trying to fend off an attack. Campbell writes the driver had a reasonable fear of harm and that his actions were a reasonable use of force. The Tallahassee Community Action Committee is calling Campbell’s decision “outrageous.”
"I want to be surprised that Jack Campbell is refusing to indict a man who intentionally tried to harm protesters," said Delilah Pierre with TCAC. "I want to be frustrated, angry and sad, but if anything, it feels more like a confirmation of who Campbell is and where he stands."
The driver of the truck was a white man. Some say they think the outcome may have been different for a black or minority driver.
In his letter to Revell explaining the decision, Campbell writes, "in assessing whether the force Mixon used was reasonable, there is no evidence that Mixon 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. Witness Crowley states that he did not believe that Mixon aimed to hit him. Based upon this statement and the totality of the evidence, the conclusion of this Office is that Mixon was reasonable in his fear of harm to himself and fellow occupants; and that his subsequent action was a reasonable use of force that was necessary to prevent harm to himself and his fellow occupants."