The father of a police officer killed in downtown Dallas during a July protest supporting Black Lives Matter is suing the group and others for allegedly inciting a "war on police" that he says ultimately led to the death of his son.
A 43-page lawsuit was filed by Enrique Zamarripa in U.S. District Court on Nov. 7 that called for damages of up to $550 million, the Star-Telegram reports.
"While Defendant Black Lives Matter claims to combat anti-black racism, the movement has in fact incited and committed further violence, severe bodily injury and death against police officers of all races and ethnicities, Jews, and Caucasians, the lawsuit claims. "Defendant Black Lives Matter is in fact a violent and revolutionary criminal gang."
Police officer Patrick Zamarripa, 32, was on bicycle patrol on the night of July 7 monitoring a Dallas march organized by Black Lives Matter. The group was protesting what it believed were excessive reactions against two African-American men, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, both of whom were shot and killed by police a few days before the rally.
When the march was winding down, a sniper in the crowd, Micah Johnson, ambushed the crowd by opening fire and fatally shooting five law enforcement officers -- four from the Dallas Police Department, where Zamarripa worked, and one from DART, the Dallas transit police.
Zamarripa's lawsuit did not name march organizer Next Generation Action Network, but instead named the Rev. Al Sharpton, Minister Louis Farrakhan, Deray McKesson, Johnetta Elzie, Malik Zulu Shabazz, head of the New Black Panther Party, and BLM supporter George Soros, Vibe reports.
Zamarripa believes Johnson, the lone sniper, was "acting as an agent under the direction of" the defendants.
The protest's organizers, NGAN founder Dominique Alexander and Denton Rev. Jeff Hood, have said they did not know Johnson. On Nov. 7, Alexander stated he was "prayerful" for the family of the slain officer, but confirmed he was frustrated over the lawsuit.
"I want justice for my son," Zamarripa said. "He served three tours in Iraq, he protected his country and he protected everybody. And he gave up his life doing that. When people were running away from the gunshots, he was running toward them."
The protest supported the BLM movement but wasn't organized by an official BLM group, Alexander said.
"[Zamarripa is] suing somebody who had nothing to do with this rally," Alexander said. "The only thing this [lawsuit] has done is continue to feed the rhetoric. There is a problem in America, and we have to come together to address it."