A federal judge has ruled that Black Lives Matter is a social movement that can't be sued over an officer's injuries during a protest following a deadly police shooting previous year in Baton Rouge.
"Although many entities have utilized the phrase "black lives matter" in their titles or business designations, Black Lives Matter itself is not an entity of any sort", Jackson wrote in a 24-page ruling. "Therefore, all claims against "Black Lives Matter" must be dismissed because social movements lack the capacity to be sued".
The Baton Rouge officer had sought to add the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter to the suit, a request Jackson denied, saying, "A hashtag is patently incapable of being sued".
The protest occurred after the fatal shooting of Alton Sterling by a white police officer.
Mckesson, who was present at the demonstration, acted well within his rights of protected free speech, according to the judge.
While making an earlier argument that Black Lives Matter should be held accountable, Grodner said, "It's organized".
Because McKesson was a prominent organiser of the protest, the lawsuit was filed against him.
Mckesson was exercising his constitutional right to demonstrate, the judge ruled, and he can not be held liable for the conduct of other protesters.
"DeRay has repeatedly said that he doesn't endorse violence, and we're sorry for what happened to the officer, but I think the judge was right that he's not responsible", he said. He has long described Black Lives Matter as a call to end violence.
Photo of Black Lives Matter courtesy of Twitter. The local district attorney declined to prosecute Mckesson and almost 100 protesters charged with obstructing a highway.
During the hearing, McKesson's attorney, Billy Gibbens, said Black Lives Matter did not have a governing body, bylaws or due-paying members.
A federal judge in Louisiana has ruled against an anonymous police officer trying to sue the Black Lives Matter movement. "They solicit money. They have national chapters", she said.
The officer's attorney has also filed a separate suit against Black Lives Matter and Mckesson for a sheriff's deputy wounded in the deadly Baton Rouge attack. Surely an individual can be held responsible for his rhetoric, if not the "social movement" he purports to lead. It's not possible, a federal judge just ruled, saying the group can not be sued because no such "entity" exists.
What do you think of Black Lives Matter?