FedEx driver won't be charged after fatal confrontation with man using racial slurs
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Prosecutors in Multnomah County, Ore., found a black FedEx driver legally justified in punching a man who later died after he hurled racial slurs at the worker and attempted to hit him.

The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office released a memo this week announcing that prosecutors have declined to charge Timothy Warren, 41, with a crime after he punched Joseph Magnuson on Sept. 26, in an incident that led to Magnuson's death.

Several eyewitness accounts gathered from people who observed the encounter reportedly maintain that Magnuson started and escalated the confrontation between him and Warren at the time.


“They report,” Senior Deputy District Attorney Adam Gibbs wrote in the memo released Monday and seen by the Post, “that Mr. Magnuson then ‘very aggressively’ began yelling at Mr. Warren to slow down. Mr. Warren stopped his truck while Mr. Magnuson continued to berate him. The witnesses agree that Mr. Magnuson called Mr. Warren a ‘f-----g n----r’ in combination with other aggressive and abusive phrases ‘over and over again.’”

Prosecutors reportedly determined there was no indication Warren intended to kill Magnuson and argued the driver was only acting in self-defense during the incident.

A county medical examiner also reportedly determined Magnuson was in “extremely poor health” prior to the confrontation and that his fall to the ground following the punch aggravated his already pre-existing medical conditions.

Gibbs also wrote in the memo released Monday and seen by the Post that Warren was acting within his legal right during the incident to challenge Magnuson’s “racist vitriol.” 

He also reportedly noted that Warren’s decision not to ignore Magnuson’s racial slurs was not of legal significance.

“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 ... Mr. Warren was within his right to exit his vehicle and verbally challenge the manner in which Mr. Magnuson was addressing him," Gibbs said in the memo.

Gibbs also noted in the memo there is not a “duty to retreat” provision upheld by state laws that would have required Warren to ignore Magnuson and remove himself from the confrontation.

A spokeswoman for FedEx declined to confirm Warren's current employment status but said the company “fully cooperated with law enforcement during the investigation of this unfortunate incident. We extend our condolences to all those affected."