BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A federal lawsuit accuses the Black Lives Matter movement of inciting violence that lead to the murder of three Baton Rouge police officers in 2016.
Baltimore activist DeRay McKesson has also been named in the suit.
The federal lawsuit was filed Friday on behalf of a deputy who survived that deadly attack one year ago.
It alleges that McKesson did nothing to calm angry protesters down in the summer of 2016, as protesters flooded the streets of Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Those protesters were demanding answers after police shot and killed 37-year-old Alton Sterling.
Baltimore activist and Black Lives Matter leader DeRay McKesson was the face of the cause.
Just days later, a gunman with ex-military experience took his anger towards law enforcement to the extreme, murdering three officers.
Now a lawsuit filed on behalf of a surviving deputy blames Black Lives Matter and leaders like McKesson for inciting violence and not doing enough to calm down angry crowds.
McKesson, who also has a position with Baltimore City Public Schools, did not respond to WJZ’s request for comment, and his attorney said he’s not able to comment on pending litigation.
McKesson was at the forefront of protests here in Baltimore and around the country.
A legal expert told WJZ that lawyers will have to prove that those protests caused the shooter to attack those officers.
“It’s a difficult thing to establish that one person’s words at one time and at one place resulted with a direct cause of another person’s actions at a different time and a different place,” said attorney Adam Ruther.
Ruther also said the words defendants used during protests may be closely examined.
“And that will be some of the most important evidence if this case ultimately goes to trial, is what exactly did Mr. McKesson or other protesters actually say that the plaintiff here is claiming incited the violence,” Ruther said.
The same attorneys have filed another lawsuit against McKesson and Black Lives Matter, but that case has not been resolved.
McKesson’s attorney did comment in court on that existing case, and he said Black Lives Matter is a movement and not an organization, therefore it cannot be sued.