Muhiyidin d’Baha, a Black Lives Matter leader and organizer, died Tuesday after being shot multiple times in New Orleans while riding his bike, local media and police has said.
It appeared that d’Baha received several shots in his thigh around 1:30 a.m. local time early Tuesday before he was rushed to a local hospital in New Orleans where he succumbed to his wounds.
Media reported that he died as a result of excessive loss of blood. Investigation into the shooting is ongoing, police said, and added that they are yet to have any motive or suspects.
d’Baha gained media attention last year in late February when he jumped into a far-right crowd waving a confederate flag so he could take it from them. A video of the incident went viral.
The incident took place during a speech by another Black activist Bree Newsome, the woman who climbed a flagpole and unhooked the Confederate flag at the South Carolina State House in 2015.
d'Baha told the Washington Post after the incident that 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." He was charged with disorderly conduct over the incident.
"I'm always saddened to hear about any young person who loses their life in the mean streets of New Orleans," Malcolm Suber, a coordinator for Take 'Em Down NOLA, a group that advocates for the removal of confederate monuments in New Orleans, said of the activist's death.
"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."
His family started a GoFundMe page asking people for support for his funeral services and the campaign has so far, in less than one day, received almost double the set goal of US$7500.
The Black Lives Matter movement was born out of a viral hashtag following a jury’s acquittal of George Zimmerman for the 2012 shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
It has since evolved into a movement against police killings of Black people, taking off following the high-profile cases of Eric Garner, Michael Brown and Freddie Gray, all of whom were unarmed.
The movement has been attacked by white supremacist groups as well as pro-police organizations over what they call “racism” because it focuses only on African Americans and not “all lives” and also falsely accusing it of advocating for police killings.
The news comes amid a rise of far-right and white supremacist violence which many blame on xenophobic and racist rhetoric and policies by President Donald Trump, which have received support and endorsement from former leaders of Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi groups.