Supreme Court Denies Appeal of Black Lives Matter Leader Held Liable for Violent Police Attack

Washington, D.C. – The Supreme Court of the United States rejected an appeal from a Black Lives Matter organizer held liable for a violent attack on a police officer at a protest he organized. The decision stems from a case where civil rights activist Deray Mckesson was sued by an unnamed Baton Rouge police officer for injuries sustained during a protest in 2016.

The officer, referred to as “John Doe,” alleged that Mckesson should have known the protest would turn violent as similar incidents had occurred in the past. The lawsuit claimed that an unidentified individual threw a “rock-like” object during the protest, causing serious injuries to the officer, including the loss of teeth and a brain injury.

Legal representatives for the officer argued that the pattern of out-of-state Black Lives Matter protesters inciting violence was evident, leading to clashes with police and the destruction of property. They maintained that Mckesson, as the organizer, should be held accountable for the outcome of the protest-riot.

The case had gone through several rounds in lower courts, with the Fifth Circuit ruling that the lawsuit could proceed. The court found that Mckesson had played a role in creating dangerous conditions and inciting violence at the protest.

On Monday, the Supreme Court declined to take up Mckesson’s case. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, in a separate opinion, noted that the decision did not pass judgment on the merits of Mckesson’s claim but emphasized the importance of considering recent Supreme Court decisions in similar cases.

Lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union representing Mckesson argued that the claims against him violated his First Amendment rights. They contended that the lower court’s ruling contradicted established Supreme Court precedent and could have a chilling effect on constitutionally protected activities nationwide.

Sotomayor highlighted the relevance of a recent Supreme Court decision on violent threats in influencing lower courts’ handling of Mckesson’s case. She urged courts to consider the implications of this decision in future proceedings related to the lawsuit against Mckesson.