No jail for Fresno man who pepper sprayed Palestinian protesters

The case will be dropped against the man in six months if he complies with community service.

Two years ago a Fresno man pepper sprayed pro-Palestinian protesters and was charged with a hate crime. 

Monday, that man took a plea deal and will avoid all jail time. 


The backstory: In May 2021 video emerged of Brian Lee Turner getting into a confrontation with protesters near River Park in north Fresno. 

  • Video showed Turner in his car at a stoplight when he used pepper spray on three protesters who were holding a Palestinian flag in the car stopped next to his. 
  • One of the protesters had gotten out of the car and had moved toward Turner before he used the pepper spray. 
  • Turner was arrested and charged with a hate crime by the Fresno County District Attorney’s Office. 

The big picture: The felony charge and hate crime enhancement against Turner were dismissed. He pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor count of illegal use of tear gas. 

  • Turner was sentenced to 40 hours of community service, and the case will be dismissed in six months if he complies with the sentencing. 
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