DeRay Mckesson, head of Black Lives Matter, is suing Fox News and host Jeanine Pirro after she claimed he called for protesters to act violently. Pirro had said, during a September broadcast of Fox and Friends, that “DeRay Mckesson, the organizer, actualy was directing people, was directing the violence” during protests in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, after the death of Alton Sterling. Sterling was shot several times while being held down on the ground by two Baton Rouge police officers.
Pirro, who also hosts the program Justice with Judge Jeanine and was a judge in Westchester County, NY, added that a police officer “was injured at the direction of DeRay Mckesson, DeRay Mckesson walks away with a hundred thousand dollars, for an organization that is amorphous, we got a problem in this country.” The Washington Post has the backstory on the segment in an article from the time of the segment. Mckesson had been arrested in July 2016 while protesting, but the charges were dropped.
A Fox News spokesperson told iMediaEthics by e-mail, “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.”
On Twitter in September, Mckesson tweeted to Pirro that he was “found not guilty & I didn’t direct any violence.”
— deray (@deray) September 29, 2017