A federal lawsuit filed in a Louisiana court alleges that Black Lives Matter and a number of its leaders are responsible for inciting the July 2016 ambush attack on police officers in Baton Rouge.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of an officer who was wounded in the attack. The defendants are identified as DeRay Mckesson and four of his fellow Black Lives Matter leaders.
CBS News reports that while the plaintiff is not explicitly named, it appears to be 42-year-old East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Deputy Nicholas Tullier. He was left with brain damage after being shot in the head, stomach and shoulder by 29-year-old Gavin Long.
The ambush took place on July 17, 2016, outside a convenience store in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, that was known to be frequented by police. Long, a former marine, waited near the store armed with a rifle. When officers began to arrive he opened fire, killing three and wounding three others before being shot and killed by a SWAT team.
Tullier, who is referred to as Officer John Doe Smith in the complaint, sustained a number of serious injuries in the shooting and is now permanently disabled. The shot to his abdomen "tore up his intestines" and caused several infections. He has had to undergo 16 surgeries as a result.
The gunshot to his head shattered part of his skull on the left side and resulted in a loss of brain matter. His ear was nearly ripped off and had to be sewn back in place. He is unable to fully control his left eye, which stays mostly closed.
"John Doe Police Officer was strong and vibrant and he has been struggling every day, fighting to live, and fighting to get better," the lawsuit says, according to CNN.
Long's attack occurred less than two weeks after Anton Sterling, a 37-year-old black man, was shot and killed by a white police officer in Baton Rouge.
The lawsuit alleges that Mckesson was "in charge of" a July 9 protest against Sterling's killing that "turned into a riot." It goes on to allege that Mckesson "did nothing to calm the crowd and, instead, he incited the violence." Mckesson was arrested during the demonstration.
More generally, Black Lives Matter encouraged violence against law enforcement "in retaliation for the death of black men killed by police," the suit states, adding that the group was "too late" in disavowing the violence.
"By embracing and supporting violence in protest that could have been conducted peacefully, BLM declared a virtual war on police," it explains.
"This is quite a world," Mckesson reportedly said when he was told of the lawsuit against him.
He told CNN: "This is the second lawsuit an officer has filed against me from Baton Rouge. … I’m confident it has no merit."
In the days and weeks before the shooting, Long posted videos in which he took sole responsibility for his actions.
"I thought my own thoughts, I made my own decisions, I'm the one who gotta listen to the judgment," he said in one video, according to CBS News.
In another he claimed to be "affiliated with the spirit of justice."
"Don't affiliate me with nothing," he said. "Yeah, I was also a Nation of Islam member, I'm not affiliated with it. They'll try to put you with ISIS or some other terrorist group -- no."
Long also left behind a note in which he stated that he had decided to attack "bad cops as well as good cops in hopes that the good cops (which are the majority) will be able to stand together and enact justice and punishment against bad cops."