Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Judge rules Black Lives Matter Can’t be Sued

Photo+courtesy+of+WSPA.com
Photo courtesy of WSPA.com

Photo courtesy of WSPA.com

Photo courtesy of WSPA.com

Danielle Anzures, A&E Editor

A Middle District federal judge ruled September 28 that the Black Lives Matter movement cannot be sued. Judge Brian A. Jackson then dismissed the case of a police officer injured during a protest after fatal shooting of Alton Sterling in July 2016 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Judge Jackson said the movement is not an entity, but a social movement. “Therefore, all claims against ‘Black Lives Matter’ must be dismissed because social movements lack the capacity to be sued.”

The unnamed suing Baton Rouge police officer said he was hit with either concrete or rock-like objects, according to CNN in court documents, causing “several serious injuries.” The officer was attacked while responding to a demonstration being led by DeRay Mckesson for the Black Lives Matter movement. The Baton Rouge official said Black Lives Matter and McKesson were liable for his injuries because they should have known that protests would turn into violent riots.

The judge ruled that Mckesson was exercising his constitutional right to demonstrate and therefore could not be charged for the actions of other people.

“All of this highlights the need for deep, deep changes in the city of Baton Rouge,” Mckesson told CNN. “It is not a new tactic that people try to use the courts to silence activists and organizers. I am happy that the judge dismissed the lawsuit and understood I had no part in the officer’s injuries.”

On behalf of another anonymous officer who was injured during a shooting that killed three policemen on July 17, 2016, a second lawsuit was filed and is before the same judge.

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Judge rules Black Lives Matter Can’t be Sued