Supreme Court Rejects Black Lives Matter Appeal, Holds Leader Liable for Violence

On Monday, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) rejected an appeal from a leader of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement who was found liable for one of his follower’s violently attacking a police officer.

As Fox News reports, far-left activist Deray Mckesson was sued in 2016 by a Baton Rouge police officer, who remained a nameless “John Doe” for the case, after the officer was injured by a protester who threw a “rock-like” object at him and hit him. The attack led to the officer losing several teeth and suffering a brain injury.

The officer sued Mckesson, who organized the protest, on the basis that Mckesson “should have known” that the event “would become violent as other similar riots had become violent.”

“The pattern was set: out-of-state protesters representing BLM fly into a town, gather, block a highway, engage and entice police, loot, damage property, injure bystanders, injure police,” the officer’s lawyers wrote in their brief. “By July 9, 2016, when McKesson organized the Baton Rouge protest/riot—he had no reason to expect a different outcome—police will be injured.”

Last June, the Fifth Circuit of Appeals ruled that the case could proceed, determining that the officer had successfully proven that McKesson “directed his own tortious activity” which led to the creation of a dangerous environment. The Fifth Circuit also ruled that Mckesson had “incited” violence due to “organiz[ing] and direct[ing] a protest… such that it was likely that a violent confrontation with the police would result.”

Lawyers for the far-left American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), who are defending Mckesson in the case, allege that the lawsuit is a violation of his First Amendment rights. Calling the Fifth Circuit’s decision “directly at odds” with the Supreme Court’s precedent, the ACLU lawyers claim that the decision would “chill classic First-Amendment-protected activity nationwide.”

In Monday’s decision, the Supreme Court declined to take up the case, essentially upholding the Fifth Circuit’s ruling. Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued a separate statement declaring that the court “expresses no view about the merits of Mckesson’s claim.”

“Although the Fifth Circuit did not have the benefit of this Court’s recent decision in Counterman when it issued its opinion, the lower courts now do,” Sotomayor continued. “I expect them to give full and fair consideration to arguments regarding Counterman’s impact in any future proceedings in this case.”

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About Eric Lendrum

Eric Lendrum graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he was the Secretary of the College Republicans and the founding chairman of the school’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter. He has interned for Young America’s Foundation, the Heritage Foundation, and the White House, and has worked for numerous campaigns including the 2018 re-election of Congressman Devin Nunes (CA-22). He is currently a co-host of The Right Take podcast.

Photo: MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 25: A person walks past the US Embassy in Spain where they have hung a banner in support of the 'Black Lives Matter' movement, on 25 May, 2021 in Madrid, Spain. The US Embassy in Spain has expressed solidarity with the African-American community on the first anniversary of the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a policeman and has hung a banner with the slogan 'Black Lives Matter' (black lives matter), a symbol of the protests unleashed after this incident. (Photo By Oscar Cañas/Europa Press via Getty Images)