A man who pointed a gun at Black Lives Matter protesters in Tallahassee, Florida, on Saturday, which was captured in widely-shared video, will not face charges, the city announced in a news release Sunday, in which the city repeatedly blamed protesters for putting public safety at risk by holding a protest without a permit.
The man was “under attack before lawfully defending himself,” the city of Tallahassee said.
Video of the incident shows a tense scene between the armed man, who the Tallahassee Democrat called a “counter protester,” and Black Lives Matter protesters, where there was a scuffle leading to the man being knocked to the ground.
He then pulled out a handgun, pointing it at protesters before police officers moved in to arrest him.
Tallahassee Police Department investigators determined the man was acting in self-defense, though, saying that he was lawfully carrying a concealed weapon.
He was there “documenting the protest,” the news release said, before a protester pushed him down.
The city also criticized demonstrators for offering “no advance notice or coordination” with police before the protest, which blocked an intersection in front of Florida’s old state capitol building.
“During the protest, a white male entered the crowd and began documenting the protest. That individual was pushed from behind by a white protester, which led to a physical altercation between the individual and several other white males,” the news release said. “During the altercation, the individual was knocked to the ground. He got back to his feet and brandished a gun. TPD officers quickly engaged, took the individual into custody and peacefully dispersed the crowd. There were no reported injuries.”
Clashes have turned deadly between protesters in other cities. In Kenosha, Wisconsin, 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse was arrested for the killing of two protesters two nights after Kenosha police shot Jacob Blake multiple times in the back, sparking a national uproar. A man was also killed in Portland, Oregon, Saturday night after clashes between protesters after a pro-Trump caravan made its way to the city.
Mark and Patricia McCloskey face felony charges after they pointed guns at Black Lives Matter protesters outside their lavish St. Louis home on June 28. The two claim that they were rightfully defending their property against a “mob.” The two spoke at the 2020 Republican National Convention, held last week.