A Baton Rouge police officer is suing Black Lives Matter, claiming that the group incited violence against police that led to a deadly attack last year in the Louisiana city.
The officer filed a suit in U.S. District Court claiming that Black Lives Matter leaders — including DeRay Mckesson — were responsible for the mass shooting that left the officer injured. As Reuters reported, the officer is seeking at least $75,000 in damages.
Three police officers were killed in a 2016 attack in Baton Rouge when a former U.S. Marine sergeant named Gavin Long opened fire on police. Baton Rouge had been the center of protests for weeks after police officers killed a black man named Alton Sterling under murky circumstances, Reuters noted.
Just 10 days before the attack in Baton Rouge, five police officers were killed in Dallas by a man angered at what he saw as nationwide racial bias by police.
The police officer filing the suit against Black Lives Matter was not named, but the lawsuit claims the officer was shot by “a person violently protesting against police, and which violence was caused or contributed to by the leaders of and by ‘BLACK LIVES MATTER.'”
Though Black Lives Matter is a largely decentralized movement with local branches that operate independently, DeRay Mckesson is seen by many as the ideological leader. Mckesson, who is named in the lawsuit filed by the Baton Rouge police officer, has said in the past that his position as a leader of the often controversial movement is used to being a target.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 8, 2017
In a 2016 interview with Uproxx, Mckesson said he has received many death threats for his activism, but has been determined to keep the movement going forward and always seeking justice.
“I know that people want us to be too afraid to act, and I will never be afraid to tell the truth,” Mckesson said. “I’ve had a movie theater evacuated because I’ve received a death threat. I received a death threat against my family and myself, recently. The FBI has visited my house. So, I think about it, but I will not let it change my commitment to this work.”
Louisiana cop sues Black Lives Matter after being wounded in deadly ambush that killed Three Officers last year | https://t.co/SKyIkTzkfw
— Blue Alert (@BlueAlertUs) July 8, 2017
Mckesson joined two other activists in suing the Baton Rouge police department for the arrest of 200 demonstrators during the protests across the city. Though the protests themselves were largely peaceful — outside of the deadly ambush — Mckesson and many others were arrested and jailed.
The Baton Rouge gunman did not identify himself as a member of Black Lives matter but rather an offshoot of the Sovereign Citizens Movement, an anti-government group.
[Featured Image by Brian Blanco/Getty Images]