A prominent Black Lives Matter activist who was filmed on live television jumping over a police line and grabbing a Confederate Flag in Charleston has been shot dead.
Muhiyidin d’Baha, who was also known as Muhiyidin Elamin Moye or Moya, was shot in New Orleans at 1am on Monday morning and died in hospital at 9.30am from a loss of blood, his family said.
On a GoFundMe page set up by the family, his niece Camille Weaver said there are no more details about his killing and the family are attempting to raise money to transport his body back to Charleston.
Little is known about the killing, other than that D’Baha was shot in the thigh on Bienville Street in New Orleans, according to the NOPD.
Police have yet to release any details about suspects or motive for the shooting, and it is believed D’Baha was in New Orleans for personal reasons rather than on any Black Lives Matter work.
D’Baha, who is in his thirties, was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct for grabbing the flag from a member of the Secessionist Party in February 2017.
The man was waving the flag as part of a demonstration outside the Sottile Theatre, where Brittany ‘Bree’ Newsome, who removed the Confederate flag from the state house in 2015, was scheduled to give a talk.
Tension had been building over the weekend, as members of the party flew the Confederate flags over parking garages in the city in a stand against the activist.
D’Baha was captured on a live broadcast running across the street behind a WSCS TV anchor and breaking through a police barricade.
He grabbed the Confederate flag and tried to run off, dropping it at one point before he was soon tackled by a number of police officers.
According to a 2015 New Yorker profile, D’Baha’s mother is Baha’i, while his father is a Muslim and the family moved to South Carolina from Poughkeepsie, New York when d’Baha was thirteen.
After a childhood in which he got into trouble for stealing cars, he studied psychology and played football at college.
His friend Brandon Fish paid tribute to him on Facebook saying he was in ‘total shock’ that ‘my dear friend, and one of Charleston’s most important and beloved grassroots leaders, Muhiyyidin D’baha, was shot and killed in New Orleans’.
‘I don’t have more details than that, but it appears to be a random act of violence,’ wrote Fish.
‘I won’t say more about his death, but I will tell you that he lived to serve his community.
‘He had so much life and energy and intellectual curiosity and capacity and love and positive energy.
‘The last thing he said to me was that he was doing community work out of town and that he was learning so that he could come back to Charleston and help empower the people.
‘He was loved by all of his friends and respected by all those who want to see social and racial justice in Charleston. We all have lost so much, so very much, whether you know it or not.
‘I am more sad than I can express in words, and my hands are still shaking as I type this post, but I thought Moya’s friends should know.’
Thomas Dixon, head of the activist group The Coalition and who is candidate for mayor of North Charleston in 2019, also paid tribute.
‘He was a man that was driven by the spirit of community. We didn’t agree on everything, but we both understood that the mission and the message superseded differences, so we were always friends no matter what.’
The GoFundMe page has already raised double the original $7,500 target.