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Black Lives Matter movement can not be sued, U.S. judge rules

29 September 2017

A federal judge ruled Thursday that a Louisiana police officer could not sue Black Lives Matter after he was injured during a protest, saying the social movement could not be blamed for his injuries.

After hearing about the ruling, Mckesson said Thursday, "It's clear that I did nothing wrong that day and that the police were the only violent people in the streets".

"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 said, adding that the movement's hashtag also can not be sued.

It was not clear how the ruling might affect a related lawsuit filed by an officer who was wounded during protests a year ago in Baton Rouge.

Long killed three police officers and wounded three others in a shooting rampage near the Baton Rouge police headquarters before he was shot dead by authorities.

"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", Jackson wrote in his 24-page ruling.

Long fatally shot three officers and wounded three others before tactical officers killed him in a gun battle that day. The video
Black Lives Matter movement can not be sued, U.S. judge rules

Addressing Mckesson's role in the protests and subsequent lawsuit, Jackson wrote the activist was exercising "his constitutional right to association and that he exclusively engaged in protected speech at the demonstration that took place in Baton Rouge".

Donna Grodner, the officer's attorney, had previously said that Black Lives Matter should be held accountable. Video of the incident was inconclusive, prosecutors said.

The officer alleged in the lawsuit that he was hit in the face by concrete or a "rock like substance", causing him to lose teeth and sustain injuries to his jaw and brain.

The officer claims that Mckesson "incited the violence" and "gave orders" to demonstrators.

A Baton Rouge police officer, who sued Mckesson and BLM anonymously, was injured by a rock thrown during protests over the July 2016 police shooting death of Alton Sterling. But Jackson wrote that the plaintiff failed to demonstrate Mckesson's culpability.

BLM, Mckesson and other prominent members of the movement are facing suit in a second lawsuit by another Baton Rouge police officer who was badly injured on July 17, 2016, when a gunman carried out a deadly ambush against police.

Black Lives Matter movement can not be sued, U.S. judge rules