By: Michelle See
Black lives matter is a social movement that can’t be sued, but a police officer anonymously sued the movement. DeRay McKesson is a prominent activist in the movement after being injured by a rock being thrown during a protest over a deadly police shooting in Baton Rouge last year. U.S district Judge Brian Jackson had dismissed the officer’s suit and ruled that Black Lives Matter is not an entity capable of being sued.
“It’s clear that I did nothing wrong that day and that the police were the only violent people in the streets,” McKesson recalled on Thursday after learning of the judge’s ruling. “The movement began as a call to end violence and that call remains the same today.” The officer also attempted to add “#BlackLivesMatter” as a defendant, describing it as a national unincorporated association based in California. But the judge has ruled that a hashtag cannot be sued either.
The officer’s attorney, Donna Grodner, said “not at liberty to discuss the case.” During a hearing in June, she had argued that the Black Lives Matter should be held liable. “It’s organized. They have meetings. They solicit money. They have national Chapters,” Grodner said.” This shows a level of national organization.” Grodner had also filed a separate suit against Black Lives Matter and Mckesson on behalf of a sheriff’s deputy that was wounded by a gunman who shot and killed three other law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge Last Summer.
The lawsuit dismissed Thursday, because they did not accuse Mckesson of throwing the rock that injured the officer’s jaw and teeth, but it claimed he “incited the violence “and”was in charge of the protest,” and that he was seen and heard giving orders. “This is a movement, and there isn’t a person who is responsible for it, or the leader or the founder of it,” he told the judge.
Mckesson and Black Lives Matter were sued after the sniper attack by Larry Klayman, founder of the conservative group Freedom watch. A federal judge in Texas ruled that the plaintiffs did not provide any support for their “proposition” that Black Lives Matter is an entity capable of being sued on June 2. All of Klayman’s claims against McKesson and Black LIves Matter have been dismissed or withdrawn.