The Supreme Court turned away the appeal from the Black Lives Matter activist

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Washington — The Supreme Court on Monday said it would not take up an appeal from Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson, who is facing a lawsuit from a Baton Rouge police officer who was hit in the head with an object during a protest in July 2016.
At issue in the case was whether the leader of a protest, Mckesson in this case, could be held liable for injuries inflicted by an unidentified person when the protest leader didn’t authorize or direct the violent act.
The dispute arose after Alton Sterling, a Black man from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was shot and killed by a White police officer outside a convenience store on July 5, 2016.
Sterling’s death set off a wave of protests against police brutality, including one that began outside of the Baton Rouge Police Department on July 9, 2016.
The officer, identified in court papers as John Doe, sued Mckesson for negligence in federal court, arguing he knew the demonstration would lead to violence and failed to calm the crowd.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit reversed that decision and said Mckesson could be liable.
He appealed to the Supreme Court, which sent the dispute back for further proceedings on whether state law allows the lawsuit.
After the Louisiana Supreme Court said a protest leader could be sued for negligence, the 5th Circuit ruled in June 2023 that the lawsuit against Mckesson could move forward.


Washington — The Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson is battling a lawsuit from a Baton Rouge police officer who was struck in the head by an object during a protest in July 2016. On Monday, the Supreme Court announced that it would not be considering Mckesson’s appeal.

What was at stake in this case was whether Mckesson, the protest leader, could be held accountable for harm caused by an unidentified individual even though the protestor didn’t order or condone the violent act.

On July 5, 2016, a White police officer shot and killed Alton Sterling, a Black man from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, outside of a convenience store. This led to the conflict. Following Sterling’s passing, there have been numerous demonstrations against police brutality, one of which started on July 9, 2016, outside the Baton Rouge Police Department.

A policeman lost teeth and suffered a brain injury after being struck in the face by a rock or piece of concrete thrown by an unidentified protester during the demonstration, according to the officer’s attorneys. The officer, identified as John Doe in court documents, sued Mckesson in federal court, alleging that he was negligent in failing to dissuade the crowd from becoming violent during the demonstration.

Asserting that he is immune from lawsuits thanks to the First Amendment, Mckesson is represented by the American Civil Liberties Union.

The case has been dragged through the courts since a federal district court ruled in 2017 that Mckesson could not be sued. The U.S. s. The Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit overturned the earlier ruling and declared Mckesson possibly accountable. After receiving an appeal from him, the Supreme Court remanded the case so that more work could be done to determine whether state law permitted the lawsuit.

The lawsuit against Mckesson could proceed, the 5th Circuit ruled in June 2023, following the Louisiana Supreme Court’s ruling that a protest leader could be sued for negligence. The divided appeals court claimed that by planning the protest to begin in front of the police station, Mckesson created “unreasonably unsafe conditions” and that he did nothing to “dissuade his fellow demonstrators” after they started hurling objects and robbing a grocery store. According to the Fifth Circuit, Mckesson also led the demonstration onto a public roadway, which is against Louisiana law.

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