A leader of the Black Lives Matter movement is dead after what appears to be a random act of violence in New Orleans.
Muhiyidin d’Baha was one of the leaders of the BLM movement in Charlottesville, where violent protests against Confederate monument supporters led to the death of a woman.
He was apparently in New Orleans for activist work when he was shot in the leg on a New Orleans street. He later died at a local hospital.
The suspects have not been identified, nor has a description been released.
A year ago, d’Baha gained national notoriety after he rushed a protester holding a Confederate flag in South Carolina and tried to snatch it. Video of the incident is included below.
D’Baha’s niece, Camille Weaver, has created a GoFundMe to help her family with costs related to his funeral and memorial service. On that page, Weaver explains that D’Baha died due to excessive blood loss after being taken to the hospital in critical condition. At the time of writing, there are no other details, including why he was shot or by whom. “We don’t have many details, but will update as soon as we do,” she wrote.
“I can say that our family is beyond appreciative for the outpouring of love and support we’ve received today,” she added. “Moya was a light and he will shine on forever.”
A vigil was held to celebrate his life at North Charleston City Hall, where his friends and family had a chance to speak about about his untimely death.
“We are lost right now,” d’Baha’s sister Kimberli Duncan said. “But we are going to find our way.”
“[Activism] was his passion; he did it from the heart. He was loving, he was funny, he was smart, but it bothered him, the injustice just bothered him, and it never rested well with him,” she added. “He took it on as a personal battle.”
D’Baha’s now famous leap led to jail time for disorderly conduct and damage to personal property. Despite that, many saw his courageous act as a metaphor for fighting back against systemic injustices (and, while we’re at it, it created a pretty symbolic GIF, too).
At the time, D’Baha said he jumped to steal the flag in an attempt to “help [those holding it] understand what it is to meet a real resistance, to meet people that aren’t scared.”
“We’re not going to pass this on another generation,” he added. “Not another generation of people are going to be intimidated by this flag.”
Many, including popular activist Deray McKesson, took to social media to express their grief for the loss of a dedicated activist and ally.
Here is video of the flag snatching incident from 2017.