A defamation lawsuit brought against Fox News host Jeanine Pirro by Black Lives Matter leader DeRay Mckesson was thrown out of court based on First Amendment grounds.
Mckesson is known for organizing protests which turned into riots over the Michael Brown incident in Ferguson, Missouri. McKesson and other activists, peddled the false “hands up, don’t shoot” narrative.
Mckesson is also know for giving a two-day lecture at Yale University where he approved of the looting, perpetrated by the Black Lives Matter movement, as an “expression of anger” and not in any way violent.
Mckesson accused Pirro of defamation over an appearance she made on “Fox & Friends” in September of 2017 where Pirro made some characterizations of what Mckensson was doing at a protest in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Pirro siad, “In this particular case Deray Mckesson, the organizer actually was directing people, directing the violence. You’ve got a police officer who was injured, he was injured at the direction of DeRay Mckesson.”
Following the segment, Mckesson took to twitter and tagged the Pirro in a video clip of her commentary. “I was found not guilty & I didn’t direct any violence. In fact, I was protesting the violence of the police,” the activist wrote, referencing a failed lawsuit aimed at him and the Black Lives Matter movement. “Stop lying.”
— deray (@deray) September 29, 2017
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Robert Kalish ruled that Pirro’s commentary was protected speech under the First Amendment as opinion, but criticized her for it anyway.
Justice Kalish “noted that Pirro’s own lawyer had described her shtick as ‘loud, caustic and hard hitting.”
“Pirro’s lack of temperament, and caustic commentary is what she is known, celebrated and frequently criticized for,” wrote Kalish, adding: “However divisive one might find the subject two-minute sequence, the law of this state protects the expressions of opinion it represents.”
“That the Court find’s Pirro statement’s to be protected statements of opinion does not mean this Court agrees with Pirro’s opinions or condones her behavior or rhetoric,” wrote the justice. “This Court is not blind to the undertones in this segment.”
Mckesson was disappointed by the outcome of the suit.
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