Baton Rouge Officer Injured During July Protest Suing DeRay Mckesson

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A Baton Rouge police officer has filed a lawsuit against DeRay Mckesson in federal court. The man, identified only as “John Doe,” said the Baltimore activist and Black Lives Matter leader helped incite violence at a July 9 protest in the city and holds him responsible for someone throwing an object at his head.

Mckesson and hundreds of others were arrested in Baton Rouge, La., this past July. They gathered there to protest the death of Alton Sterling, a black man shot and killed by two police officers outside a convenience store four days earlier. Mckesson was charged with obstruction of a highway and released less than a day later, but the charges didn’t stick for him and most of the others arrested that evening. The district attorney dropped charges against more than half of the people booked by Baton Rouge police.

Doe’s lawsuit, filed in federal court in Baton Rouge yesterday, accuses Mckesson and the questionably labeled Black Lives Matter “organization” of inciting violence at the gathering that night. (Mckesson has defended BLM as a movement, rather than something started by an organization.) He says someone threw a piece of concrete or “rock like substance” at his face, causing him to lose teeth and suffer injuries to his jaw and brain, according to the AP.

The suit doesn’t accuse Mckesson of that violent act, but it ropes him in by saying he “was in charge of the protests and he was seen and heard giving orders throughout the day and night of the protests.”

Mckesson told outlets yesterday that he hadn’t yet seen the lawsuit. Last night, his only clear public response was this tweet:

In reality, Mckesson is seeking something more than that. He and others are already suing the City of Baton Rouge, alleging they violated their constitutional rights and used excessive force in making the arrests that night. They’re asking the city to pay for lost wages, bond expenses and other monetary losses incurred from their arrests, according to NBC News.

Ethan McLeod
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Ethan McLeod

Senior Editor at Baltimore Fishbowl
Ethan has been editing and reporting for Baltimore Fishbowl since fall of 2016. His previous stops include Fox 45, CQ Researcher and Connection Newspapers in Northern Virginia. His freelance writing has been featured in Baltimore City Paper, Leafly, DCist and BmoreArt, among other outlets. He enjoys basketball, humid Mid-Atlantic summers and story tips.
Ethan McLeod
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