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Baton Rouge officer sues Black Lives Matter over 2016 ambush of cops

7/11/2017, 6 a.m.
A wounded officer's lawsuit filed in federal court in Louisiana alleges Black Lives Matter and several of its leaders are ...
A Black Lives Matter yard sign in Ferguson, Missouri. (Photo: Moni Basu/CNN)

— A wounded officer's lawsuit filed in federal court in Louisiana alleges Black Lives Matter and several of its leaders are responsible for last year's ambush on law enforcement in Baton Rouge.

The July 17, 2016, attack by gunman Gavin Long claimed the lives of two police officers and a sheriff's deputy and wounded two deputies and an officer.

Lawyers for one of the wounded law enforcement officers filed the complaint Friday in US District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana against various arms of the Black Lives Matter movement and leaders including DeRay Mckesson and Johnetta Elzie.

The complaint alleges Black Lives Matter and its leaders are responsible for the shooting because they "incited the violence against police in retaliation for the death (sic) of black men shot by police," and "did nothing to dissuade the ongoing violence and injury to police."

"In fact, they justified the violence as necessary to the movement and war," the complaint says.

The person who filed the lawsuit is named in the complaint only as Officer John Doe Smith. It says he is 42 with two children and is permanently disabled as a result of the numerous injuries he suffered in the ambush.

Smith, the complaint says, was shot through his abdomen, left shoulder and left side of his head. The shot to his abdomen "tore up his intestines," requiring 16 surgeries and causing recurring infections. Medical staff must attend to the exit wound daily, it says.

The shot to Smith's head almost tore off his left ear, which needed to be sewn back on, the complaint says. His skull was shattered and he lost brain matter on the left side, in an area controlling communication. His left eye stays mostly closed with the eyeball turned outward, it says.

"John Doe Police Officer was strong and vibrant and he has been struggling everyday, fighting to live, and fighting to get better," the complaint says. It seeks at least $75,000 in compensatory damages.

It is not clear why the officer filed the complaint under a pseudonym.

Donna Grodner, the attorney for the officer who filed the suit, told CNN she wasn't authorized to speak about the case.

The Baton Rouge victims

In the attack last July, Long waited for police near a Baton Rouge convenience store that was known as a favorite stop for patrol officers.

Armed with a rifle, he fatally shot Officers Matthew Gerald, 41, and Montrell Jackson, 32, outside the store as soon as he saw them.

Sheriff's Deputy Brad Garafola, who apparently was responding to reports of a man with a rifle, heard the shots and took cover, but then ran to help one of the downed officers. That's when Long opened fire, killing Garafola.

Long then shot Officer Chad Montgomery, who had pulled up in front of the building. The bullet grazed his head.

In a nearby parking lot, Sheriff's Deputy Nicholas Tullier, then 41, was in his cruiser to run the tag on Long's car when the gunman emerged from the woods and opened fire, shooting as he walked toward the vehicle.