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A man who pulled a gun on supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement during an unauthorized demonstration in the Florida capital Saturday has had charges against him dropped after video of the incident showed he was justified in standing his ground.
The man was counter-protesting a BLM rally in Tallahassee on Saturday when he was forced to pull a handgun after being struck and knocked to the ground.
Initially, police quickly swarmed the man after a video showed him brandishing the weapon and forcing another man to drop to his knees with his hands raised in surrender.
But the suspect was released after police reviewed additional footage from other videos showing that he was stalked and then set upon by a group of BLM supporters, only pulling his gun after he was punched and jumped on by at least a half-dozen people.
“A local group hosted a non-permitted protest on downtown streets. With no advance notice to or coordination with [Tallahassee Police] to ensure safety, the group gathered and blocked the intersection of Monroe Street and Apalachee Parkway with people and cars,” the Tallahassee Police Department said in a report published online.
“Despite not being notified, TPD officers, who were in the area, moved in to stop traffic at the intersection to provide safety for the protest,” the report continued.
The report went on to note that a “white male” began to document the crowd and was eventually “pushed from behind a white protester, which led to a physical altercation between the individual and several other white males.”
During the scuffle, the man was knocked to the ground but “got back to his feet and brandished a gun” before being “quickly engaged” by officers.
“Video from several sources were available to review the incident,” the report said. “TPD investigators worked with the State Attorney’s Office to review the evidence of the physical altercation.