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Supreme Court Denies BLM Leader DeRay Mckesson's Bid To Evade Lawsuit

The government has laid down its law.

DeRay Mckesson
Photo Credit: Instagram - @IAmDeray

The United States Supreme Court rejected Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson’s bid to evade a lawsuit from an officer who was hit in the head by a rock, which was thrown by an unidentified protester, according to NBC News.

Taking place in 2016, McKesson was leading a protest in Baton Rouge following a police killing of a Black man.

The protest started after the death of Alton Sterling following an altercation outside a convenience store where he was selling CDs.

Represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, Mckesson said his actions leading the protest are protected by the Constitution’s First Amendment, which guarantees free speech as well as the right to assemble.

The justices did not dissent from the court’s decision to not hear the case. But liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote a statement, explaining why the court didn’t have to intervene. She spoke on a recent Supreme Court ruling, which raised some of the same issues that would have a chance to benefit Mckesson as the litigation continues.

She said, “The court’s refusal to hear the case expresses no view about the merits of Mckesson’s claim.”

Mckesson’s lawyers said that they expect him to eventually prevail in lower courts.

"The goal of lawsuits like these is to prevent people from showing up at a protest out of the fear that they might be held responsible if anything happens. But people don’t need to be afraid to show up. The Constitution still protects our right to protest," Mckesson said in a statement.

The officer said Mckesson was “negligent under Louisiana law by failing to foresee that the protest could lead to violence.” The lawsuit alleged that the officer lost his teeth and sustained a brain injury.

The case has been to many courts. Firstly, a federal judge ruled in 2017 that McKesson couldn’t be sued. But overturning the finding was the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Mckesson appealed to the Supreme Court, which led to a detour in the litigation as justices ordered more analysis on whether Louisiana law allowed for such a claim as the one the officer alleges.


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