Tallahassee police: Man brandished gun at protest in self-defense

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Video shows the man being shoved to the ground and struck by several protesters.

A man attacked during a Black Lives Matter protest acted lawfully Saturday when he brandished a firearm outside of the Florida Historic Capitol, according to the Tallahassee Police Department.

In a news release Sunday, TPD said investigators worked with the State Attorney’s Office to review several video sources. They determined the man “lawfully defended himself” and was a licensed concealed weapon holder.

Tallahassee police did not release the man’s name.

“During the protest, a white male entered the crowd and began documenting the protest,” TPD said in a news release. “That individual was pushed from behind by a white protester, which led to a physical altercation between the individual and several other white males. 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.”

Video released by TPD shows the man being shoved to the ground and then swarmed by several protesters during the attack.

TPD said no one was injured in the incident and no assault charges have been filed.

The protest was organized by the Tallahassee Community Action Committee. On Twitter, the group says they are dedicated to “fighting for peace, justice, and equality through direct action.”

TCAC claimed the incident was a show of “white supremacist aggression” in the hours following the incident.

“We thank those that attended today’s protest,” the group tweeted. “We will not be threatened by white supremacist or police terrorism. We will be back in the streets.”

Saturday’s protest was held to demand justice for Jacob Blake, a Black man shot in the back 7 times by Kenosha police on Aug. 23. The incident has spurred protests and riots in cities across the country and reinvigorated calls for police reform.

In Tallahassee, protesters blocked one of the city’s most traveled intersections with people and cars. TPD said they were given no notice and the protest was non-permitted.

The demonstration came days after the Kenosha police union said Blake had a knife and fought with officers during the incident, even putting one of them in a headlock. The union also said officers attempted to stop Blake twice with a Taser.

Blake is paralyzed from the shooting and recovering in a Milwaukee hospital.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the state capital for Florida Politics. After a stint with the U.S. Army, Jason attended the University of Central Florida where he studied American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. Throw him a line at [email protected] or on Twitter at @JasonDelgadoFL.


11 comments

  • Tjb

    August 30, 2020 at 4:14 pm

    I only see one person attaching the gunman. The others were attempting to pull the attacker off the gunman.

  • Tjb

    August 30, 2020 at 4:16 pm

    Do I only see one person attaching the gunman. The others were attempting to pull the attacker off the gunman.

  • John

    August 30, 2020 at 4:30 pm

    I see a man provoking the protesters to do something to him!

    • Ben Grant

      August 30, 2020 at 4:51 pm

      Exactly! The only reason he walk into a crowd like that (armed!) and start provoking people is in the hopes they’ll stack him.

  • Ian

    August 30, 2020 at 4:47 pm

    I see a man with gray hair and blue jeans being shoved to the ground by a larger, younger man wearing a black T-shirt. The younger man then tussles with the gray-haired man on the ground while at least two overweight individuals wearing black are kicking the gray-haired man.

  • Frankie M.

    August 30, 2020 at 8:58 pm

    If you feel the need to bring a weapon to a protest then maybe you shouldn’t be there? If he were black the cops would have shot him no questions asked.

  • Edward Freeman

    August 31, 2020 at 1:01 am

    It is amazing how much restraint and professionalism the police can display when a white man pulls a gun and points it a dozens of people. Were he a black man, he would be dead.

    • Mike

      August 31, 2020 at 8:56 am

      And were he a black man, he wouldn’t even need to be holding a gun to get gunned down the the cops.

      How is it that the justice system always finds every loophole on the books to avoid holding dangerous folks, like the guy who brought and brandished a gun to a protest, accountable. But when it’s an unarmed black man, the cops can just gun them down with impunity?

    • Ian

      August 31, 2020 at 9:00 am

      Mr. Freeman,

      You and Frankie M. seem to have failed to notice the following: When police approached the gray-haired man, he instantly did exactly what they ordered him to do… drop the gun, get on the ground, put your hands behind your back. He did all that without hesitation, debate, struggle, fighting, ignoring instructions, or putting a cop in a headlock. That’s why he was not shot. If he had failed to drop his weapon and had continued pointing it at people, he would likely be dead right now.

      • Cheryl Carson

        August 31, 2020 at 10:07 am

        Exactly, the man with the gun carried the gun legally. Why did the protesters attack him? Maybe because he disagreed with them. And, as previously said, he was not shot because he did as ordered by the police.

Comments are closed.


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