Policeman can sue Black Lives Matter activist – US Supreme Court — RT World News

Critics say the ruling sets a dangerous precedent that threatens freedom of expression and the right to assembly

The US Supreme Court has ruled that a Louisiana police officer should be allowed to press charges against BLM organizer Deray Maxon after he lost several teeth and suffered brain damage during a civil rights protest.

In July 2016, Mckesson led a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Baton Rouge to protest the shooting death by police of an armed black man named Alton Sterling. During the protest, Officer John Ford was hit by a rock or piece of concrete thrown by one of the activists, who remained unidentified.

Ford's lawsuit claimed Mckesson should have known the protest would turn violent when it began, and was therefore responsible for his injuries. It was initially dismissed by a district judge, then revived last year by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. On Monday, the Supreme Court refused to hear McKesson's appeal.

McKesson was arrested by Baton Rouge police on the day of the protest but was later released and the charges against him were dropped. In November 2016, the city to push A $100,000 settlement for 92 activists arrested during the riots is worth about $230 per person after legal fees.

With the support of the ACLU, McKesson argued before the Fifth Circuit that he was engaging in free speech and assembly activities protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. In a 1982 case involving black civil rights activists in Mississippi, the Supreme Court ruled that participants in such activities were protected from liability arising from the conduct of others.

The appeals court rejected that line of argument, though one dissenting justice cited Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s 1965 rally in Alabama and said political unrest — from marches to riots — had exacerbated the problem. “It has marked our history from the beginning.”

Justice Don Willett argued that the statutory majority theory “It would weaken America's street-clogging civil rights movement and impose devastating financial liability on citizens for exercising their basic First Amendment freedoms.”

The ACLU warned that the ruling could set a precedent, making it easier to prosecute protest leaders for unlawful conduct by attendees, which would… “Stifling activity that seeks political or societal change” According to Reuters.

Mckesson was one of the early leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement, which claimed that police across the United States were racist and overly aggressive toward African Americans. Local judge that unacceptable Ford's initial lawsuit argued that the Black Lives Matter movement is an idea, not an entity, and therefore cannot be sued.

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