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State Attorney: Man who pulled gun on Tallahassee protesters was justified under Stand Your Ground law

Posted at 10:49 AM, Sep 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-10 14:23:45-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — After reviewing multiple videos, the State Attorney's office says no charges will be filed against the man who pulled a gun at a Tallahassee protest.

State Attorney Jack Campbell sent a letter to Tallahassee Police Chief Lawrence Revell on Wednesday explaining why no charges will be filed against the man nor the protesters seen on video attacking him.

“We reviewed video surveillance, media footage, citizen recording, officer body cam videos, witness statements and Tallahassee Police Department reports,” Campbell wrote. “We ultimately conclude that no charges are warranted in reference to this incident.”

In a video taken from security cameras at the Capitol, protesters can be seen fighting with the man, eventually knocking him down. The group piles on top of him, hitting and punching him.

Within seconds, the man stands up with a gun raised. When an officer approaches him, he puts his weapon down and gets on the ground.

In the letter, Campbell states that the man was within his right to carry the gun at the protest on Aug. 29 and, based on the evidence, "reasonably believed he was in danger of death or great bodily harm" when he was attacked.

Campbell also detailed more about what led up to the incident in the letter.

According to Campbell, the armed man was walking around the protest when he made comments to some of the protesters in opposition of their views, which the letter notes is protected under the First Amendment.

That's when a group of protesters began following the man, a woman with a sign seen standing very close to him. At some point, Campbell said the man pushed the woman's sign away, leading another man to shove him from behind.

The armed man then turned around and hit a woman before trying to hit the man who shoved him.

Campbell said that sparked a brawl between the armed man and multiple people as the armed man fell to the ground and was "hit and kicked repeatedly."

"[The armed man] then draws his firearm and aims it at the people who are striking him and at the crowd in general," the letter reads. That's when Tallahassee Police officers stepped in and ordered the armed man to get on the ground and drop his gun.

He complied and was taken into custody.

As for what sparked the brawl, Campbell said "there was no clear evidence that the female intended to touch [the armed man] with the sign or was threatening to touch him with the sign."

Based on the evidence, Campbell said that the state would not be seeking charges against the woman with the sign, nor the men who attacked the armed man as the men were reacting in defense of the women who were hit.

You can read the full letter from Campbell to Chief Revell below:

Letter to Chief Revell 9-9-... by WTXL ABC 27

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