In a case that received scant notice, a Manhattan judge acquitted a Black Lives Matter protester on Oct. 2—scolding police witnesses in the process. BLM opponents, seeking to damage the movement through irrationalal lawsuits, recently received another resounding blow, this time from the federal courts.
U.S. District Judge Brian Jackson tossed a lawsuit against the move and several leaders, including DeRay McKesson, claiming the protesters incited a gunman to launch a deadly attack on police last year that also wounded a Baton Rouge, Louisiana sheriff’s deputy.
We saw this rejection coming when Jackson ruled previously that BLM—as well as its hashtag #BlackLivesMatter—represent a social movement that can’t be sued. Hopefully that message sinks in.
In the aftermath of a White Baton Rouge police officer fatally shooting Alton Sterling, protests erupted. Gavin Long, a former Marine, shot six officers, killing three of them.
In a separate case, a different judge ruled that the police violated protesters’ civil rights by arresting them. Under the decision, the demonstrators may receive cash awards up to $1,000 from a class-action lawsuit settlement.
“This can be a blueprint for activists and organizers and lawyers across the county to think about what remedies look like at the court level. And it’s not just money,” McKesson stated, according to the Baltimore Sun.