Two months after alleged shooter Micah Xavier Johnson killed Dallas police officers, Dallas Police Department sergeant Demetrick Pennie has filed a class action lawsuit against parties who he feels have incited people to do harm against law enforcement officers.
Pennie, a Black man who serves as president of the Dallas Fallen Officer Foundation, joined with conservative advocacy group Freedom Watch founder Larry Klayman to bring the suit in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas on Friday (September 16). The class is defined as “police officers and other law enforcement persons of all races and ethnicities including but not limited to Jews, Christians and Caucasians.”
The suit names the following defendants and the organizations they represent: Nation of Islam (NOI) leader Louis Farrakhan; National Action Network (NAN) head Reverend Al Sharpton; Black Lives Matter (BLM) founders Opal Tometi, Patrisse Cullors and Alicia Garza; St. Paul chapter of BLM head Rashad Turner; former leader of the New Black Panther Party (NBPP), Malik Zulu Shabazz; activists DeRay Mckesson and Johnetta Elzie; billionaire philanthropist George Soros; President Barack Obama; former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
Soros is designated in the complaint as a “financier” of the BLM movement. Mckesson and Elzie, while often associated with BLM in the media (and in the lawsuit), do not actually organize actions within the movement’s network of chapters. Per Freedom Watch, the version of the complaint that was filed Friday was amended to include Clinton and Soros, the only two defendants who are not Black.
Klayman—whose bio says he formerly served as a federal prosecutor—unsuccessfully sued Hillary and Bill Clinton and their foundation for racketeering last year. He issued the following statement about the suit, posted on Freedom Watch’s website:
Sergeant Pennie and I feel duty-bound to put ourselves forward to seek an end to the incitement of violence against law enforcement which has already resulted in the death of five police officers in Dallas and the wounding of seven more, just in Texas alone. Other assaults and deaths have occurred elsewhere. While the case was filed in Texas, it will create precedent around the nation that law enforcement, which ironically protects the very persons who are alleged to have incited this violence, should be respected. The defendants, if not legally reined in, are allegedly responsible, along with others, for igniting a race war that will ultimately totally destroy the freedoms that our founding fathers bequeathed to us.
The complaint also attempted to link Johnson, the Dallas shooter, to the plaintiffs:
Investigation into Johnson’s background revealed that Johnson was and is a member of defendant Nation of Islam (“NOI”) and defendant New Black Panther Party (“NBPP”). The Dallas Police Shooting was perpetrated by Johnson under the direction of Defendants NOI and NBPP, in furtherance of defendants’ NOI and NBPP’s historical and undeniable mission to incite and effect violence and severe bodily injury and death against police officers and other law enforcement persons of all races and ethnicities including but not limited to Jews, Christians and Caucasians. This violence was also incited and caused by the other defendants, each and every one of them.
The lawsuit comes at a time when The Washington Post reports that police officers are safer under the Obama Administration than they have been over the last three-plus decades. Using data pulled from the Officer Down Memorial Page, the paper found that: “Under Obama, the average number of police intentionally killed each year has fallen to its lowest level yet—an average of 62 deaths annually through 2015. If you include the 2016 police officer shootings year-to-date and project it out to a full year, that average of 62 deaths doesn’t change.”
Read the 66-page complaint here.
(H/t The Dallas Morning News)