Jeanine Pirro, Fox & Friends host is being sued for defamation in discrediting DeRay Mckesson’s name, a Black Lives Matter activist saying that he in sighted and directed violence towards police officers at the Baton Rouge protest in 2016.
The New York Daily News reports that McKesson filed a defamation case on Tuesday, December 12, 2017, in Manhattan.
The case is centered on Pirro’s commentary on the protest in Baton Rouge Louisiana in 2016 over the shooting and killing of Alton Sterling. Mckesson was in attendance at the protest and was arrested but had charges dismissed in October 2017 along with 185 other people. In that lawsuit, $136,000 was awarded to the protesters arrested.
Soon after, an officer of the Baton Rouge police department filed a report saying he struck in the face with a rock thrown by a protester. He stated that Mckesson was the one that incited the incident.
The case didn’t go through, because the judge tossed it on September 28, 2017, saying Black Lives Matter was a social movement incapable of being sued. The judge also added that the cop didn’t properly explain how Mckesson caused the incident.
On the Fox and Friends show, host Pirro stated, “In this particular case, DeRay Mckesson, the organizer, actually was directing people, was directing violence.” She continued, “You’ve got a police officer who was injured, he was injured at the direction of DeRay Mckesson, DeRay Mckesson walks away with a hundred thousand dollars, for an organization that us amorphous, we got a problem in this country.”
That loaded comment caused Mckesson to file a defamation suit against the Fox host, saying her comments, “endangered his safety.”
Mckesson tweeted Pirro saying, “I was found not guilty and I didn’t direct any violence. In fact, I was protesting the violence of the police. Stop lying.”
The defamation suit states, “Pirro made these false statements of fact on the highest viewed morning cable show in the country, ‘Fox & Friends,’ which reaches over 1.7 million viewers.” It continues, “These statements of fact are false, and were either known to be false by Defendant Pirro or were made with reckless disregard for whether they were true.”
Fox News is not moved by the lawsuit and is prepared to fight the suit.
“We informed Mr. Mckesson’s counsel that our commentary was fully protected under the First Amendment and the privilege for reports of judicial proceedings,” explained Fox News.
Either way, the lawsuit has been filed and awaits a trial date.
Sign Up For Our Newsletter!
(Source: The New York Daily News)
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)