Charges dismissed against NC Appeals Court judge accused of trying to hit protesters

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An NC Court of Appeals judge has been cleared of charges that he tried to run over Black Lives Matter protesters in Fayetteville last month, his attorney said Monday.

An independent prosecutor dismissed the case against John Tyson, who began serving his second term on the statewide court in 2014. The case was dismissed because of lack of evidence.

“False allegations should be dismissed,” said attorney David T. Courie in a press release. “It is bad enough to be falsely charged and suffer a rush to judgment by some despite the evidence, but it need not be followed up by a blind prosecution.”

In May, Myah Warren filed charges of assault with a deadly weapon against Tyson in Cumberland County.

Warren said she was holding a Black Lives Matter sign at a downtown Fayetteville demonstration at the Market House when she saw a car circle twice, nearly striking her on the second pass.

Fayetteville activists had gathered for a weekly memorial for residents killed in police shootings. They approached the car and shot video, later recognizing the driver as Tyson. The judge later told the Fayetteville Observer he had called 911 because protesters were in the roadway.

Courie said Cumberland County prosecutors recused themselves from the case of the Fayetteville resident, who has served in county office. Independent prosecutors reviewed the evidence, he said, and found no basis for the charges because witness statements did not match video evidence.

“All objective evidence shows my client was and is 100% innocent,” Courie wrote.

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