A Louisiana police officer has filed a federal lawsuit against Black Lives Matter and five of the movement's leaders after he was wounded in an anti-police ambush last year that left three of his comrades dead.
According to Reuters, the unnamed police officer is accusing the movement and its leaders of inciting the attack with anti-cop rhetoric. The lawsuit was filed in a U.S. district court in Louisiana. The officer is seeking at least $75,000 in damages.
DeRay Mckesson, a leader of the Black Lives Matter movement who has been involved in protests in Ferguson, Missouri, and Baltimore, along with four other BLM leaders, are named defendants in the suit.
"This is quite a world," Mckesson said in response to the lawsuit, according to CBS News.
The suit does not name the plaintiff, but according to Fox News, the officer is East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Nicholas Tullier. The officer was injured last July 17 when Gavin Long ambushed police officers in a shooting rampage in Baton Rouge. Three officers were injured, one critically, and three were killed during the rampage, which lasted less than 10 minutes. After engaging in gunfire with officers, Long was shot and killed by a SWAT officer.
The shooting happened after outrage over the controversial shooting death of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge. Sterling, 37, was shot and killed by a police officer on July 5 as two officers held him to the ground. The Department of Justice did not find police wrongdoing in the case, and the Louisiana attorney general's office is conducting a separate investigation.
Long was from Kansas City, Missouri. He had posted videos online talking about police treatment of black people in America and called for action to be taken in response to the recent string of black deaths at the hand of police officers.
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Friday’s lawsuit claims Mckesson was “in charge of” a July 9 protest that “turned into a riot.” Mckesson “did nothing to calm the crowd and, instead, he incited the violence” on behalf of Black Lives Matter, the suit alleges.
The suit describes Long as an “activist whose actions followed and mimicked those of” the sniper who killed officers in Dallas days earlier. The suit also claims Black Lives Matter leaders incited others to harm police “in retaliation for the death of black men killed by police” and “all but too late” began to denounce the shootings of police after the Baton Rouge attack.
Mckesson said he has not spoken to his attorney, Billy Gibbens, about the lawsuit. Last month, Gibbens argued that Black Lives Matter cannot be sued because it is a movement not an organization. The federal judge assigned to the suit has not ruled on that case.
Last year, Mckesson and two other protesters sued the Baton Rouge police department and a number of other area officials after police arrested hundreds of demonstrators during the protests.