Court Rules Wounded Officer Can Sue Black Lives Matter Protest Organizer

A federal appeals court ruled that the Baton Rouge officer injured during a BLM protest can sue the event's organizer.

New Orleans, LA – A federal appeals court ruled that the Baton Rouge police officer who was injured while trying to arrest protesters during the Alton Sterling demonstrations can proceed with a lawsuit against the Black Lives Matter protest’s organizer.

DeRay Mckesson, who is from Baltimore, organized the violent protests whereby demonstrators blocked streets and highways after Sterling was fatally shot while trying to murder police officers on July 5, 2016.

A police officer who was hurt by flying concrete or rocks filed a lawsuit against Mckesson and Black Lives Matter that alleged the Black Lives Matter protest organization was responsible for his injuries, The Times-Picayune reported.

The wounded officer, whose name has been withheld for safety reasons, was struck in the face by the flying object, knocked to the ground, and incapacitated, the lawsuit alleged.

He suffered jaw, brain, and head injuries and lost several teeth in the melee, The Times-Picayune reported. He also sued for lost wages and “other compensable losses,” The Advocate reported.

U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson dismissed the officer's lawsuit against Black Lives Matter on Sept. 28, 2017, and said that it is "not an entity capable of being sued."

The original Black Lives Matter group is not a legal entity. Donations to Black Lives Matter are actually made to a third-party nonprofit which then gifts the money to the founders, who can spend the money however they please.

Jackson also dismissed the officer's lawsuit against Mckesson, and said that Mckesson was "solely engaged in free speech" as evident by the officer's claims, despite the fact that the organizer had rallied hundreds of people to riot in the wake of Sterling’s death.

In the officer's lawsuit, Mckesson is not named as the individual who threw the rock at the officer causing injuries to his jaw and teeth, but as the individual who "incited the violence, and was "in charge of the protest," after he was seen and heard giving orders to the crowd.

Mckesson was one of nearly 200 protesters who were arrested by Baton Rouge police officers after Sterling's death. His charge of obstructing a highway was dismissed by the prosecutor, along with charges for about 100 others.

The prosecutor had enough evidence to charge them, but used their prosecutorial discretion to not follow through on the charges.

The injured police officer appealed Jackson’s ruling to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and argued Mckesson had not used reasonable care when he led hundreds of people to block city streets.

“Mckesson should have known that leading the demonstrators onto a busy highway was most nearly certain to provoke a confrontation between police and the mass of demonstrators, yet he ignored the foreseeable danger to officers, bystanders, and demonstrators, and notwithstanding, did so anyway,” wrote Circuit Judge E. Grady Jolly in a unanimous decision of a three-judge panel.

Jolly wrote that it was “patently foreseeable” when Black Lives Matter blocked the roads that officers would have to respond to clear the chaos, The Times-Picayune reported.

“Given the intentional lawlessness of this aspect of the demonstration, Mckesson should have known that leading the demonstrators onto a busy highway was most nearly certain to provoke a confrontation between police and the mass of demonstrators, and notwithstanding, did so anyway,” the judges ruled. “By ignoring the foreseeable risk of violence that his actions created, Mckesson failed to exercise reasonable care in conducting his demonstration.”

The panel made it clear that the ruling was not a finding of liability for Mckesson but rather the confirmation that the officer has a reasonable claim and the case should move on to discovery.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the officer should be able to argue that Mckesson didn’t exercise reasonable care in taking the protest onto Airline Highway, The Times-Picayune reported.

“Our ruling at this point is not to say that a finding of liability will ultimately be appropriate,” Jolly wrote in a statement. “We are simply required to decide whether Officer Doe’s claim for relief is sufficiently plausible.”

The appeals court determined that Mckesson, who organized the protests that bordered on riots, could potentially be held accountable and responsible, and could therefore be sued by the officer.

Comments (20)
No. 1-17
AnnykaV
AnnykaV

Unanimous ruling, about damn time.

LEO0301
LEO0301

Of course the prosecutor dropped the charges. I suppose it's too much to ask him to do his job.

oldbat
oldbat

hurray for the good guys for a change, i hope he gets a big settlement

Rascal1966
Rascal1966

Damn I hope he wins big!!! Maybe it will stop these low IQ knuckleheads from rioting and thinking they block traffic and do whatever they want without consequences!!

Chazzer
Chazzer

One for the good guys!!!

Copsdaughter1995
Copsdaughter1995

Finally a fricken step in the right direction!!!

jerry 8842
jerry 8842

Of course the charges were dropped. The lawyers are not on the streets. finally something went the way of the Police for a change. Retired Police Officer in New York State.

Marxest
Marxest

If the judge ruled the officer can bring suit against Mr McKesson then so be it. Let him sue, it's his legal right under the law. He certainly deserves some compensation for the injuries he received. But any monetary reward owed him should come from the county or extracted from person who actually injured him. I doubt very much that he will be able to get any fees from Mr McKesson, but all the same I wish him the best of luck and a speedy recovery.

HAWAIIBLUE
HAWAIIBLUE

FINALLY!!

cspcapt
cspcapt

Hit them in the pocketbook

Gramercy
Gramercy

I pray his suit is not only substantial...but we can also stop some "migrating riots" and altercations to become responsible for the dangers they inflict on people of their targeted area. Tired of "bringing in" protesters to ruin cities and people over which they have no concerns!

snafu
snafu

Three cheers for three judges!

Baxter12
Baxter12

Finally it’s about time! These gatherings get out of hand and so many get hurt but yet want the innocent to pay! Finally the guilty will pay in this case!

Stanracer
Stanracer

A judge with a spine. It's about time!👍

spd522
spd522

Jackson is your typical Obama appointee, finding reason to always shit on the cops and protect thugs. Glad his decision was overturned.

LEO2076
LEO2076

Finally a voice of reason in all of this madness!

Pjdroney
Pjdroney

Beautiful. About time.