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7 Capitol Police Officers Sue Trump Over Riot

Lawsuit also names Roger Stone, members of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2021 12:17 PM CDT
7 Capitol Police Officers Sue Trump Over Riot
In this Jan. 6 photo, President Trump speaks during a rally in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

(Newser) – Former President Trump just got with another lawsuit over the Capitol riot, this time by officers who were injured by his supporters. The lawsuit also implicates several Trump allies, including Roger Stone and members of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers.

  • Main claim: The lawsuit filed in federal court in DC accuses Trump of intentionally setting a mob upon the Capitol as part of his bid to remain in office. Trump “worked with white supremacists, violent extremist groups, and campaign supporters to violate the Ku Klux Klan Act, and commit acts of domestic terrorism in an unlawful effort to stay in power," says the suit, per the AP. That 1871 statute is aimed at violence meant to disrupt the actions of Congress.
  • Accusers: Seven Capitol Police officers filed the suit, reports the New York Times. “This is probably the most comprehensive account of Jan. 6 in terms of civil cases,” says Edward Caspar of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which filed the suit on behalf of the officers. “It spans from the former president to militants around him to his campaign supporters.”

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  • Details: The suit includes first-hand accounts from the officers, including Governor Latson, who describes how rioters beat him and hurled racial slurs at him. Latson, who is Black, also was injured by “exposure to noxious pepper spray, bear spray, fire extinguishers and other pollutants sprayed by the attackers," says the suit, per the Washington Post.
  • Details, II: Another officer, Jason DeRoche, describes being hit with batteries and doused with mace and bear spray while on the steps of the Capitol. Officer Michael Fortune says “it was like a war zone, with chemical fog in the air, tables flipped, statues defaced, feces on the walls, blood and broken glass on the floors.”
  • Other suits: This lawsuit makes similar allegations to those made by individual members of Congress in previous litigation. While Trump has not responded yet to the officers' lawsuit, he has sought to dismiss the earlier ones by saying he was acting in his official capacity as president and thus is immune from civil suits. A special House panel also is investigating the events of Jan. 6.
(Read more Capitol riot stories.)

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