Can Black Lives Matter be sued? A federal judge says no.
A U.S. district judge ruled Thursday that Black Lives Matter is a social movement. And he said the claims against it must be dismissed because social movements "lack the capacity to be sued."
The decision dismisses a Louisiana police officer's lawsuit against Black Lives Matter and one of its leading activists.
The unnamed officer was injured during a protest outside the Baton Rouge Police Department in July 2016. The group was protesting the death of Alton Sterling, who was shot and killed by a Baton Rouge officer a few days earlier.
The officer filed suit in November against Black Lives Matter and activist DeRay Mckesson.
The suit claims the officer was hit in the face with piece of concrete or another rock-like substance during the protest. It says that knocked out some of his teeth and caused other injuries.
The officer's attorney insisted Black Lives Matter was an organization that can and should be liable for his injuries.
But the attorney defending Mckesson said there was no evidence that Black Lives Matter is more than a "community of interests." And he argued there was no evidence it has a membership hierarchy, dues or insurance.
There was some precedent for this case. A judge dismissed a similar lawsuit earlier this year, citing, in part, a lack of evidence that Black Lives Matter could be sued.