A Louisiana deputy sheriff, permanently disabled when he was shot three times by an angry, deranged former U.S. Marines sergeant during a Baton Rouge protest-turned-riot, has sued Black Lives Matter and five of its leaders. The lawsuit claims they “caused or contributed to” the violence and encouraged the “militant anti-police national organization.” The rising number of civilians being needlessly killed by law enforcement personnel must be brought under control immediately, but encouraging “disdain, hatred, and violence against police” and violent rioting and shooting is certainly not the right way to address this urgent problem.
By John Friend
On July 17 of last year, Gavin Long, a former U.S. Marine sergeant who was sympathetic towards the Black Lives Matter movement, ambushed police officers in Baton Rouge, La., killing three officers and injuring three more. Long was eventually shot 45 times by officers in the shootout, and died at the scene.
In a suicide note, Long lamented that he would be “vilified by the media and police” for his actions.
“Unfortunately,” Long wrote, “I see my actions as a necessary evil that I do not wish to partake in, nor do I enjoy partaking in. But must partake in, in order to create substantial change within America’s police force and judicial system.” He also noted that he must “bring destruction” upon “bad cops as well as good cops in hopes that the good cops (which are the majority) will be able to stand together to enact justice and punishment against bad cops.”
The horrific ambush came less than two weeks after a Baton Rouge police officer shot and killed Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man whose death sparked outrage in the black community. Sterling was killed outside a local convenience store after he physically struggled with officers and refused to obey their commands. Philando Castile, yet another black man, was shot and killed by a police officer in a suburb of Minneapolis a day later.
The controversial police shootings sparked a number of protests across the country, many of which were instigated, organized, and led by the Black Lives Matter movement. A major protest in Dallas turned violent when Micah Johnson, a black Army veteran who was upset over the police shootings in Baton Rouge and Minneapolis, ambushed local law enforcement officers there, killing five officers and injuring seven others.
Long traveled from Kansas City, Mo. to Baton Rouge roughly ten days after the Dallas ambush with the direct intention of violently confronting officers there.
Now, one of the injured officers in Baton Rouge is suing the Black Lives Matter movement and its most prominent leaders, accusing them of not only inciting violence against law enforcement officers across the country, but actually encouraging and justifying it.
The East Baton Rouge Parish deputy, who is not identified in the lawsuit, is a 42-year-old father of two children who had over 18 years of experience working in law enforcement. During the ambush, he was shot in his abdomen, his left shoulder, and the left side of his head, and as a result is permanently disabled; his intestines are permanently damaged, and he now has to wear a colostomy bag. The officer has had multiple surgeries, has suffered extensive brain damage, has reoccurring infections, and is constantly struggling for his life, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit charges Black Lives Matter and some of its most prominent spokespersons with inciting and encouraging the sort of violence that resulted in the ambushes in both Dallas and Baton Rouge. The violence committed against the officer, the lawsuit alleges, was “caused or contributed to” by the leaders of Black Lives Matter, a “militant anti-police national organization.” DeRay Mckesson, Johnetta Elzie, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi are specifically named in the lawsuit as representing and leading the Black Lives Matter movement, who used their organization, social media platforms, and public media appearances to instigate and incite violence against police officers, the lawsuit contends.
“At least eleven police [officers] have been shot dead and at least nine more wounded by BLM protesters, activists, and/or supporters,” the lawsuit argues. “The leaders of BLM and Defendants, not only, incited the violence against police in retaliation for the death of black men shot by police but also did nothing to dissuade the ongoing violence and injury to police. In fact, they justified the violence as necessary to the movement and war.”
The lawsuit outlines the history of the Black Lives Matter movement, names its leaders and their subversive, radical actions, and documents the violence, destruction, and mayhem caused since the movement’s inception. BLM and its leaders must be held responsible for the officer’s injuries because they encouraged “disdain, hatred, and violence against police” at the various protests and demonstrations organized by BLM across the country, as well as on social media and in media appearances, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit was filed by a group of attorneys, including Donna Grodner, who previously filed a separate lawsuit against McKesson on behalf of yet another Baton Rouge police officer who sustained injuries during protests that took place in Baton Rouge in the aftermath of Alton Sterling’s death. Grodner was contacted by American Free Press, but refused to comment on the case at this time.
The lawsuit is requesting $75,000 in damages to be paid out to the injured officer and his family.
John Friend is a writer who lives in California.