The New York Daily News reports:
Fox News host Jeanine Pirro smeared Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson by claiming he directed violence against a Baton Rouge police officer in 2016, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday.
The defamation case Mckesson filed in Manhattan Supreme Court stems from Pirro’s commentary about a protest over the fatal police shooting of Alton Sterling, a black man, on July 5, 2016. Mckesson, 32, had attended a protest over the shooting and was arrested, but charges against him were dismissed — and he and about 185 other protesters later settled a suit against the Baton Rouge police for $136,000.
An anonymous police officer filed a separate suit, alleging he was hit in the face by a rock a protester threw. The protester, the cop said, was incited by Mckesson. The cop named Mckesson and “Black Lives Matter” as defendants.
On Sept. 28, a federal judge in Louisiana tossed the officer’s suit, ruling that Black Lives Matter was a social movement that could not be sued. The judge also ruled the cop failed to explain how Mckesson allegedly incited the violence.
McKesson says Pirro was on “FOX & Friends” on September 28, discussing a lawsuit filed by the cop against BLM. According to the suit, Pirro made a series of outrageous and false statements about him.
In the docs, obtained by TMZ, DeRay says Pirro blamed him for directing the violence, and added, “You’ve got a police officer who was injured, he was injured at the direction of DeRay McKesson.”
DeRay believes Pirro made her statements knowing they were false — and it’s damaged his rep and endangered him as a civil rights activist.
As we reported, a federal judge ruled McKesson was expressing his right to free speech at the demonstration, and it wasn’t his fault the officer got hurt. DeRay’s suing both Pirro and FOX News for defamation.
Fox News reacts: “We informed Mr. McKesson’s counsel that our commentary was fully protected under the First Amendment and the privilege for reports of judicial proceedings. We will defend this case vigorously.”
It doesn’t get mentioned much, but McKesson is openly gay.
— deray (@deray) September 29, 2017