Black Lives Matter is an anti-police organization that has a history of advocating violence against law enforcement and has led to the deaths of multiple officers.
According to WRAL news, an officer injured during the Baton Rouge riots filed a lawsuit against Black Lives Matter and prominent member DeRay Mckesson. A federal judge not only rejected the lawsuit but determined that Black Lives Matter is a social movement and cannot be sued.
The police officer, who has remained anonymous for his own protection, filed the lawsuit after he was struck by a rock during the protests in Baton Rouge that severely injured his jaw and teeth. The suit included Mckesson, saying he “incited the violence” and “was in charge of the protest” by giving orders to other protesters.
The judge overruled the lawsuit, stating, “Although many entities have utilized the phrase ‘black lives matter’ in their titles or business designations, ‘Black Lives Matter’ itself is not an entity of any sort.”
The judge went on to say that Mckesson was not to be held accountable for his rabble-rousing, saying he was “solely engaged in protected speech.”
Mckesson was pleased with the ruling, claiming that police officers were the ones responsible for the violence. “It’s clear that I did nothing wrong that day and that the police were the only violent people in the streets. The movement began as a call to end violence and that call remains the same today.”
The anonymous officer’s attorney, Donna Grodner, maintained that Black Lives Matter behaves and operates as an organization. “It’s organized. They have meetings. They solicit money. They have national chapters. This shows a level of national organization.”
Grodner is also part of a separate suit filed against Black Lives Matter for a deputy wounded by the gunman who killed three officers in Baton Rouge last year. While that suit is still ongoing, the federal judge’s ruling that Black Lives Matter is not an entity but a movement will likely complicate that lawsuit as well.
Mckesson and other members of Black Lives Matter have filed their own lawsuits against the city of Baton Rouge and its police departments. They claim the arrests of nearly 200 people after the police killings were unlawful and have even accused officers of police brutality and violating the constitutional rights of the protesters.
USA Today reported Mckesson’s claim that the police were violent the day of the protests. According to the Black Lives Matter activist, “The police in Baton Rouge have been truly awful tonight. They have provoked people, they chase people just for kicks. The police have been violent tonight. The protesters have not.”
Yet law enforcement says things escalated to violence when “out of town protesters” began arriving, leading to the officer having several of his teeth knocked out by an object thrown by protesters. Eight guns were also confiscated from protesters.
In lawsuit by injured police officer, federal judge rejected the lawsuit and determined that Black Lives Matter is a social movement and cannot be sued. Do you agree?
Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said the police handled the situation very well and the arrests of protesters like Mckesson were more than justified. “If orders are made not to obstruct a roadway and you step out into the road, that is cause for arrest – period. That is just as much for the safety of yourself as it is for the motorists and for the law enforcement officers, as well as other protesters in the area.”
Mckesson aside, the judge’s ruling to declare Black Lives Matter a movement and not an organization, and therefore immune to lawsuits, could have very dangerous implications in the future. If protesters and organizers feel they will not be legally held accountable for their actions, it gives them the confidence and power to behave worse.
Hopefully, this ruling is overturned and members of Black Lives Matter can be held accountable when their actions put others in danger.