The FedEx driver who delivered the fatal blow that killed a racist man will not be charged.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Adam Gibbs released a memo saying Timothy Warren was well “in his right” to challenge Joseph Magnuson, who berated him with racial slurs and “other aggressive and abusive phrases.”
The incident occurred on Sept. 26 in Northeast Portland, when witnesses said Magnuson started the altercation by yelling at Warren “very aggressively” to slow down, the paper reported. When Warren tried to speak with Magnuson after stopping the vehicle, Magnuson called him racial slurs and threw a drink at the FedEx employee.
Some witnesses said Magnuson also hurled a bag of food at Warren, the paper reported, before he threw a punch that missed. Warren hit Magnuson above his left eye, knocking him to the ground unconscious, the report said. Magnuson later died, according to the paper.
“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, according to the paper. “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.”
While some may argue the incident would have never escalated if Timothy had not stopped his truck, District Attorney Gibbs noted that “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.”
In layman’s terms: Magnuson sought the smoke and got it.
Warren also waited and cooperated with police after the incident.
A medical examiner determined Magnuson’s “extremely poor health” contributed to his death.