Black Lives Matter activist Muhiyidin d’Baha dies after being shot in New Orleans
A Black Lives Matter activist from South Carolina died Tuesday (Feb. 6) after being shot in the thigh earlier in the day on Bienville Street in New Orleans, according to the NOPD.
The shooting victim has been identified as 32-year-old Muhiyidin Moye, an NOPD spokesman said Tuesday night and the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office confirmed Wednesday.
Moye — who preferred the last name d’Baha, according to the Washington Post — and was called “Moye” or “Moya” by loved ones, was struck by gunfire shortly before 1:30 a.m. in the 1900 block of Bienville Street.
d’Baha’s mother did not want to speak with a reporter when reached by phone Tuesday night, saying only that her son was a “wonderful person.”
Police initially reported the shooting occurred in the 2400 block of Bienville Street, but later updated the location to the 1900 block.
d’Baha was taken to a local hospital and later died of his wounds, police confirmed.
Nearly a year ago d’Baha drew national attention with a famed leap, hurtling past yellow police tape and throwing himself toward a Confederate battle flag in attempts to tear it down, during a protest in Charleston, S.C.
The flag was being waved before an appearance by activist Bree Newsome at the College of Charleston. In 2015, Newsome became an iconic figure after she scaled a flagpole to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the South Carolina statehouse.
According to a Washington Post report, d’Baha said he tried to wrestle the flag away to “help them understand what it is to meet a real resistance, to meet people that aren’t scared.”
d’Baha was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct, according to The Washington Post report.
Malcolm Suber, a coordinator for Take ‘Em Down NOLA, a group that advocates for the removal of confederate monuments in New Orleans, said he did not know d’Baha, but was saddened to hear of the loss of the Black Lives Matter advocate, adding, “I’m always saddened to hear about any young person who loses their life in the mean streets of New Orleans.”
“I remember seeing a clip of him trying to take down the (Confederate) flag. We need more young people to be as bold and as brave as he seemed to be,” Suber said.
DeRay Mckesson, a well-known activist in the Black Lives Matter movement, said in a Tweet that d’Baha was “such a force and an incredible guy.”
Mckesson made headlines in Louisiana in 2016 when he was arrested in Baton Rouge during protests over the fatal police shooting of Alton Sterling, sued the city for the arrests and was then sued by an anonymous Baton Rouge police officer. Baton Rouge ended up paying a settlement to Mckesson and other Black Lives Matter activists, and the suit against him and other activists was dismissed.
Mckesson remarked in the tweet, which shared a Charleston City Paper report about the fatal shooting, that d’Baha’s death was “quite a loss”.
He was such a force and an incredible guy. This is quite a loss. https://t.co/gtnkwIQjAQ
— deray (@deray) February 6, 2018
The investigation into the early Tuesday shooting is ongoing, according to the NOPD. As of Tuesday night, police had not named any suspects or motives in the case.
“I didn’t know him personally, but my thoughts go out to him and his family. I hope they find somebody who is responsible for this homicide,” Suber said.
According to a GoFundMe page run by Camille Weaver, who writes that she is a niece of Moye’s, relatives learned of his death about 9 to 9:30 a.m. when they received a phone call “saying that he had died due to excessive blood loss.”
“We don’t have many details, but will update as soon as we do,” Weaver says in the post.
In an update posted shortly about 8 p.m., Weaver thanked supporters for their donations, comments and condolences.
“I can say that our family is beyond appreciative for the outpouring of love and support we’ve received today,” she writes in an update. “Moya was a light and he will shine on forever.”