Baton Rouge Cop Sues Black Lives Matter, Leaders

Complaint by officer injured in gunman's ambush says BLM incited violence
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 10, 2017 7:58 AM CDT
Baton Rouge Cop Sues Black Lives Matter, Leaders
In this March 26, 2016, file photo, Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson is seen chatting with campaign volunteers in Baltimore.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Last July, a police officer in Baton Rouge, La., was seriously injured after a gunman ambushed him and five other members of law enforcement, killing three—and now that officer is suing various arms of the Black Lives Matter movement and some of its leaders, CNN reports. The complaint filed Friday on behalf of the 42-year-old cop, listed simply as "Officer John Doe Smith," names activist DeRay McKesson—arrested in Baton Rouge during a protest for Alton Sterling about a week before the attack on the officers—and four other BLM leaders, per the Los Angeles Times. The suit says BLM and its leaders "did nothing to dissuade the ongoing violence and injury to police" and "justified the violence as necessary to the movement and war." Based on his age and documented injuries, John Doe Smith appears to be Nick Tullier, a sheriff's deputy and father of two, per WGNO.

And those injuries to Smith set out in the suit, which cites violence at nationwide protests, were severe: He was shot through the side of his head, abdomen, and left shoulder, leaving him with a shattered skull and constant infections in his intestinal area. McKesson tells CNN he's "confident [the suit] has no merit," while his lawyer said in a court filing to dismiss a previous suit against McKesson that BLM can't be sued because it's a movement, not an organization, per WAFB. Donna Grodner, an attorney behind both suits, countered, "If Black Lives Matter does not exist, it should not be raising money or collecting millions in donations." PBS notes Grodner's attempt to crowdfund for legal expenses was rejected by YouCaring for not "promoting harmony." She's now trying to raise money via GoFundMe (no word yet whether the site will allow it).

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