A Black Lives Matter activist who went viral after snatching a Confederate flag from a counter protester in Charleston has been killed in New Orleans, according to multiple media outlets.
South Carolina activist Muhiyidin d’Baha, 32, died in a hospital Tuesday after being shot in the thigh earlier in the day on Bienville Street in New Orleans, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune. A GoFundMe page was set up for funeral costs and it has raised more than $30,000, despite only having a $7,500 goal as of noon Thursday.
“His body is currently in New Orleans and we are raising money to bring him home to Charleston and then have a memorial service/funeral for his family and friends,” said Camille Weaver on the GoFundMe site. She identified herself as d’Baha’s niece. “This is all so unexpected.”
He was struck by gunfire shortly before 1:30 a.m. Monday in the 1900 block of Bienville Street, media outlets report. Police identified d’Baha as Muhiyidin Moye, but he preferred the last name d’Baha.
A Wednesday story in the Times-Picayune said a bicycle “covered in blood” was found at the scene, leading to the assumption the shooting happened while he was biking. Officers found the bloody mountain bike on the opposite side of the street from where d'Baha lay on the ground, outside a car repair shop, said the newspaper. The story also reported that one caller spoke of a man who was “on the ground asking for help.”
D'Baha drew national attention when video of him at a protest went viral. He leaped at a counter protester holding a Confederate battle flag, snatching the emblem out of his hands. It happened last February outside of a speech by activist Bree Newsome at the College of Charleston. He was subsequently charged with disorderly conduct and malicious injury to real property, according to the Washington Post.
According to the Washington Post, 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.”
As a result of the incident, d’Baha became known around the country as the “Confederate flag grabber.”
The New Orleans police have not named a motive or suspect in the activist’s slaying, reported to WGNO in New Orleans.
The news drew reaction from other activist around the country, with Maryland Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson twitting: “He was such a force and an incredible guy. This is quite a loss.”