Rashida Jones’ #FreeDeray Tweet Attacked in Uproar Over BLM Activist’s Arrest

Twitter erupts Sunday after DeRay McKesson is taken into custody at Baton Rouge protest

Last Updated: July 10, 2016 @ 8:39 PM

Actress Rashida Jones found herself facing unexpected criticism early Sunday after she tweeted a #FreeDeray message of support to arrested Black Lives Matter activist DeRay Mckesson.

Mckesson, a prominent leader in the BLM movement, was detained during a Saturday night protest in Baton Rouge, where the death of Alton Sterling has inflamed tensions. Mckesson had used Periscope to document the event. He was later charged with “simple obstruction of a highway of commerce,” according to documents posted online. Saturday was Mckesson’s 31st birthday.

He was released late Sunday and told the New York Times he believed he was arrested unlawfully.

But before he was released, the hashtag #FreeDeray quickly trended on Twitter, with a photo (pictured) of a steely-eyed Mckesson becoming an instant meme.

Jones, a former star of NBC’s “The Office,” joined in with her own thoughts.

Her message was retweeted more than 15,000 times.

But it also led to a virulent backlash, some of it evidently from pro-gun partisans who took exception to Jones’ mention of the Second Amendment. Others bashed BLM and indulged in race-baiting.