DeRay Mckesson, a Black Lives Matter leader filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against Fox News host Judge Jeanine Pirro for defamation, reports The Blaze. The activist is claiming that Pirro lied about Mckesson’s other lawsuit against Louisiana cops.
Mckesson alleges that Pirro on “Fox & Friends” on Sept. 29 discussed his lawsuit filed by a Louisiana cop against Black Lives Matter and that he was found guilty for organizing violence against these cops. Mckesson says that none of that is true.
— deray (@deray) September 29, 2017
Mckesson specifically takes issue with the fact that Pirro directly blames him for a series of violent protests that happened after a black man, Alton Sterling, was shot dead by Baton Rouge, Louisiana police in July 2016.
“In this particular case, DeRay Mckesson, the organizer, actually was directing people, was directing the violence,” Pirro said on Fox News. “You’ve got a police officer who was injured, he was injured at the direction of DeRay Mckesson.”
The activists say that thanks to Pirro’s untrue statements about him, it has endangered his safety and has hurt his standing as a civil rights leader. He is seeking an unspecified amount of damages and a jury trial, according to the New York Daily News.
“These statements of fact are false, and were either known to be false by Defendant Pirro or were made with reckless disregard for whether they were true,” Mckesson says in his suit.
A group of around a hundred other protestors was arrested along with Mckesson during the Baton Rouge protest, later most of the charges against them were dropped. The group later filed a lawsuit against the city and was later settled as well.
A police officer from Baton Rouge later filed his own lawsuit, alleging that Mckesson was responsible for inciting violence within the crowd which led to a rock being thrown in the officers face.
A judge, however, did not believe the officer and the suit was dismissed on Sept. 28. The Judge said that the cop failed to show how Mckesson incited the violence and said Black Lives Matter is a social movement that cannot be sued.
A Fox News spokesperson said Pirro’s commentary is protected under the First Amendment and said the network plans to defend itself.
“We informed Mr. Mckesson’s counsel that our commentary was fully protected under the First Amendment and the privilege for reports of judicial proceedings,” Fox News said. “We will defend this case vigorously