A federal lawsuit filed in a US district court accuses the Black Lives Matter movement and several of its leaders of inciting violence that led to a deadly ambush of three police officers in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, last year.
DeRay Mckesson along with four other Black Lives Matter leaders are named as defendants in the suit filed Friday on behalf of one of the officers wounded in the July 17, 2016, attack by a black military veteran, who killed three other officers before being shot dead himself.
“This is quite a world,” McKesson said Friday, responding to a reporter notifying him of the lawsuit, the Associated Press (AP) reported.
The suit doesn’t name the officer, but the unidentified Baton Rouge police officer matches the description of East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Deputy, Nicholas Tullier, 42, according to AP.
Tullier was among the survivors during the July 17 ambush and has been treated at a Houston rehabilitation facility since November. He was shot in the head, shoulder and stomach, leaving him with brain damage and in a vegetative state. By December, the deputy partially recovered from his injuries and was able to communicate non-verbally and regained some movement in his body.
Gavin Long, 29, a former Marine from Kansas City, Missouri, shot and killed three officers and injured three others with a semi-automatic rifle outside a convenience store and car wash near the Baton Rouge police station.
Long had posted internet videos urging violence in response to police “oppression” of black Americans. He apparently posted a video on YouTube on July 10, three days after a sniper killed five police officers and wounded nine others in Dallas.
Long also left a note in which he said he needed to harm “bad cops as well as good cops in hopes that the good cops (which are the majority) will be able to stand together and enact justice and punishment against bad cops.”
Long’s deadly attack came less than two weeks after a white Baton Rouge police officer shot and killed Alton Sterling, 37, black man on July, 5. Mckesson was among some 200 people arrested in Baton Rouge at rolling protests after Sterling’s killing.
Friday’s lawsuit claims that Mckesson was “in charge of” a protest which “turned into a riot” on July 9. The suit alleges that Mckesson “did nothing to calm the crowd and, instead, incited the violence.”
This shooting was apparently spurred by one of the deadliest attacks on US law enforcement in modern history, when on July 7, 2016, Micah Johnson, 25, fatally shot five Dallas police officers during a peaceful protest against police brutality, the Advocate reported.
Donna Grodner, one of the attorneys for the Baton Rouge officer, stated that she is not authorized to comment on the case publicly as yet. The injured deputy’s father, James Tullier, did not respond for comment Friday, according to the Advocate.
McKesson said he has not yet spoken to his attorney, Billy Gibbens, about the lawsuit, and did not comment on the allegations against him and four other Black Lives Matter leaders. Gibbens also declined to comment on the case.
Gibbens said during another court case last month in relation to the previous lawsuit that Black Lives Matter is a movement and not an organization that can be sued.