On Monday (November 2), the U.S. Supreme Court sided with Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson in a lawsuit filed by a police officer who was injured during a 2016 protest in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
The protest took place outside the police department in response to the police killing of Alton Sterling, a Black man. A struggle between Sterling and police ensued outside a convenience store where he was selling homemade CDs. The incident was caught on video.
The injured officer, who remains unidentified, sued both Black Lives Matter and McKesson, seeking monetary damages. The officer claims McKesson should have known violence would result from the demonstration.
According to Reuters, justices threw out a lower court ruling allowing the lawsuit to proceed, claiming that more analysis was needed on whether Louisiana state law allows for such a claim.
McKesson argued that his First Amendment rights shield him from the lawsuit, which accuses him of negligence. That issue has yet to be resolved.
“The constitutional issue, though undeniably important, is implicated only if Louisiana law permits recovery under these circumstances in the first place,” the court said in their ruling.
The officer who brought the suit alleges he sustained serious injuries after being struck in the face by a piece of concrete thrown by someone other than McKesson.
Litigation will now continue in lower courts.