Judge Allegedly Tried to Run Down BLM Protesters

Judge John M. Tyson faces charge of assault with a deadly weapon
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 18, 2021 4:39 PM CDT
Judge Accused of Trying to Hit BLM Protesters With Car
Judge John M. Tyson   (NCCourts.gov)

A Black Lives Matter activist in North Carolina says a person who tried to hit protesters with an SUV is a judge—and she is pressing charges against him. Judge John M. Tyson, who is white, has been summoned to appear in court next month to answer to a charge of misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon, ABC reports. Activist Myah Warren, 23, says Tyson drove his state-owned vehicle past protesters in Fayetteville once before moving into the inner lane of the traffic circle, which is painted with a Black Lives Matter message and is closed to traffic. She says he sped up and almost hit a group protesting police shootings. "It caused me to literally have to jump out of the way to avoid being hit," Warren tells the News&Observer. "He was going so fast he jumped up on the curb."

Police say that during the May 7 incident, a 911 caller complained that protesters were blocking the roadway and coming around his car, the Fayetteville Observer reports. Tyson has acknowledged making the call. There is no evidence of protesters blocking traffic in video released by the city. "It's a baldfaced lie," Warren tells the Washington Post. "He needs to be dealt with for making false accusations to 911." Warren, who describes the judge as "a well-known racist," based on some of his rulings, says she was twice told she couldn't press charges before an investigator reviewed footage of the incident and said she could have a case. She says the judge is a powerful local figure, which has made it very difficult to find a lawyer willing to help. (More Black Lives Matter stories.)

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