Incidents of protests in Texas are on the rise as racial tensions surge across the state. Protestors and law enforcement face off almost daily as marches and protest gatherings increase.
When a protest turns violent, confusion, fear and misunderstandings may result in death, as one motorist in Austin recently discovered.
According to the New York Times, the deadly incident occurred during a protest when an on-duty Uber driver encountered a march while dropping off a passenger. An armed man approached the vehicle and the driver lowered his window, believing the man to be a member of law enforcement. However, when the protestor raised his rifle, the driver, who carried a weapon with him while performing his rideshare duties, shot the man in alleged self-defense.
Witness accounts vary
While several people in the crowd viewed this incident, accounts of what actually happened vary. Some say that the Uber driver fired without cause and that the protestor never raised his rifle, while others say he threatened the driver, who fired in response. According to one journalist, the protester carried a weapon, classified as an assault rifle, because he believed the police would not actively defend his rights. It is unclear whether he followed Texas gun control laws at the time of the shooting.
Driver is active military personnel
The Uber driver, who had a license for the handgun he used, is a soldier serving at a Texas base and engaging in rideshare driving to supplement his income. Currently, he faces no charges as a result of the shooting.
Texas gun control laws are generally not as stringent as in other states. However, those who choose to carry weapons may place themselves in danger if they decide to use them in moments of fear or indecision.