Officer sues Black Lives Matter for injuries caused during Alton Sterling protest

DeRay McKesson released from EBR jail (Source: WAFB)
DeRay McKesson released from EBR jail (Source: WAFB)

BATON ROUGE, La (WAFB) – A Baton Rouge Police officer who was seriously injured during a protest has filed a lawsuit against the national Black Lives Matter movement.

FILE - In this Saturday, July 9, 2016, file photo, police officers arrest activist DeRay McKesson during a protest along Airline Highway, a major road that passes in front of the Baton Rouge Police Department headquarters in Baton Rouge, La. Mckesson sued the city of Baton Rouge and police officials on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016, saying officers responded in a "militarized and aggressive manner" in arresting him and other people protesting a police shooting death. (AP Photo/Max Becherer, File)
FILE – In this Saturday, July 9, 2016, file photo, police officers arrest activist DeRay McKesson during a protest along Airline Highway, a major road that passes in front of the Baton Rouge Police Department headquarters in Baton Rouge, La. Mckesson sued the city of Baton Rouge and police officials on Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016, saying officers responded in a “militarized and aggressive manner” in arresting him and other people protesting a police shooting death. (AP Photo/Max Becherer, File)

The lawsuit was filed in Baton Rouge Federal Court on Monday, Nov. 7 and names the national Black Lives Matter organization and co-founder of the organization DeRay McKesson.

“Protests in other cities staged by Defendants resulted in violence and property loss,” states the lawsuit. “Defendants conspired to violate the law by planning to block a public highway. Defendants were in Baton Rouge for the purpose of demonstrating, protesting and rioting to incite others to violence against police and other law enforcement officers.”

The protest happened on Saturday, July 9 and was one of many that happened in Baton Rouge in the weeks following the death of Alton Sterling.

“Anticipating violence and property loss Baton Rouge Police Department arranged for a front line of officers in riot gear that formed a shield around officers who were to effectuate arrests and removal of Defendants from the public highway.”

McKesson was among 102 people arrested during the incident.

“The only people that were violent last night were the Baton Rouge Police Department,” McKesson said shortly after his release from the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison. “The protesters remain peaceful here and across the country. Again, I remain deeply disappointed in the Baton Rouge Police Department.”

However, the officer who filed the lawsuit – listed only as John Doe – paints a much different picture of the events that unfolded that night.

“At the beginning the protest was peaceful until activist began pumping up the crowd,” states the lawsuit. “DeRay McKesson was in charge of the protests and he was seen and heard giving orders throughout the day and night of the protests.”

The lawsuit claims the protestors began to “loot a Circle K” for water bottles that were later thrown at police officers.

“When the Defendants ran out of the water bottles they were throwing at the Baton Rouge City Police, a member of Defendant Black Lives Matter, under the control and custody of the Defendants, then picked up a piece of concrete or similar rock like substance and hurled into the police that were making arrests.”

The officer who filed the lawsuit claims he was hit in the face and was knocked to the grown. The report states that the officer had some teeth knocked out, had an injury to his jaw and brain.

Police also say they confiscated several guns the night of the protest, including three rifles, three shotguns, and two pistols.

McKesson is part of a class action lawsuit that was filed in August on behalf of several individuals who were arrested the night of the protest. That case is assigned for a telephone conference with Magistrate Judge Erin Wilder-Doomes on Nov. 10.

“Class members have incurred substantial attorneys’ fees and will incur further attorneys’ fees to clear their criminal arrest record, as a result of the defendants’ conduct,” notes the lawsuit. “The charges were subsequently dismissed by the East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney.”

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