Oregon FedEx driver will not face charges in death blow to racist

The District Attorney decided not charge Timothy Warren with a crime, saying he did not intend to kill the racist, Joseph Magnuson and acted in self-defense.

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Prosecutors have cleared an Oregon FedEx driver of any wrongdoing after he delivered a deadly punch to a man who hurled racial slurs at him, according to The Oregonian.

Timothy Warren was driving a FedEx truck in September through a Portland, Oregon, neighborhood when a racist stranger screamed at him, accusing him of driving too fast, the report says.

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Warren stopped his truck to explain to Joseph Magnuson that he was exhausted from his shift and wanted to finish his work. Witnesses said Magnuson started the altercation by yelling at Warren “very aggressively” to slow down, called him the n-word and threw a drink at him.

Some witnesses said Magnuson also hurled a bag of food at Warren before throwing a punch that missed. Warren defended himself by punching Magnuson above his left eye, knocking him out cold. Magnuson later died, according to The Oregonian.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Adam Gibbs said in a memo that Warren “was in his right” to challenge Magnuson.

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“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.”

Gibbs acknowledges that Magnuson might still be alive if Warren had not stopped, but 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,” according to the paper.

A medical examiner determined Magnuson’s “extremely poor health” also contributed to his death.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office decided not to charge Warren with a crime, as he did not intend to kill Magnuson and acted in self-defense.