The network of street and campus demagogues known as Black Lives Matter pretty much has operated with impunity since its founding. But a court ruling late last month could make these social media-based grievance peddlers think twice before targeting cops.
On April 24, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit unanimously ruled that an injured Baton Rouge, La., police officer has legal standing to sue DeRay Mckesson (he prefers not to capitalize the “k”), Black Lives Matter’s unofficial mouthpiece and most visible organizer. Mckesson, the complaint read, in coaxing a large group of demonstrators to block traffic on a highway back on July 9, 2016, created the conditions for the attack on the officer, identified only as John Doe. The decision overturns a district court ruling. And it is the right call.
Black Lives Matter (BLM), now with dozens of chapters across the U.S., came together in July 2013 following the justified acquittal by a Florida state jury of George Zimmerman, a white neighborhood patrol volunteer charged with murder in the shooting death of a black teen attacker, Trayvon Martin. The group attained a national profile in August 2014 when it sponsored continuous street rallies in Ferguson, Mo. to protest the police shooting death of an “unarmed” young black adult, Michael Brown, who in fact had violently assaulted the officer only a minute or two before. Rioting occurred that month, and again more destructively, that November after a county grand jury decided not to indict the officer.
With Black Lives Matter, the preordained script is “white oppressor, black victim,” regardless of location.