‘We want to do what we can to make sure the people who did this are held accountable…’
(Headline USA) U.S. Capitol Police officers who were attacked during the Capitol siege filed a lawsuit Thursday against former President Donald Trump, his allies and supportive group members, accusing them of intentionally sending a violent mob on Jan. 6 to disrupt the congressional certification of the election.
The suit in federal court in Washington alleges, without evidence, that 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.”
The suit was filed on behalf of the seven officers by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. It names the former president, the Trump campaign, Trump ally Roger Stone and members of groups the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers who were present at the Capitol and in Washington on Jan. 6.
Omitted from the lawsuit were members of Antifa who participated in the siege and instigated much of the mayhem.
Two other similar cases have been filed in recent months by Democratic members of Congress. The suits allege the actions of Trump and his allies led to the siege of the Capitol that injured dozens of police officers, paused the certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s electoral victory and sent lawmakers running for their lives as they stormed into the seat of American democracy.
Video evidence, much of it still being withheld from the public by the FBI, showed many Capitol officers allowing demonstrators into the building, and peacefully engaging many of them in conversation.
The suit names as defendants several people who have been charged with federal crimes related to the siege. They are alleged to have “conspired to use force, intimidation, and threats to prevent Joe Biden and Kamala Harris from taking office, to prevent Congress from counting the electoral votes, and to prevent the Capitol Police from carrying out their lawful duties.”
The filing provides accounts of the injuries the officers sustained while trying to fend off the mob. One officer, Jason DeRoche, was hit with batteries and sprayed with mace and bear spray until his eyes were swollen shut. A second officer, Governor Latson, was inside the Senate chamber when the rioters broke through the doors and beat him as they shouted racial slurs, according to the suit.
“We joined the Capitol Police to uphold the law and protect the Capitol community,” the group of officers said in a statement released by their lawyers. “On Jan. 6 we tried to stop people from breaking the law and destroying our democracy. Since then our jobs and those of our colleagues have become infinitely more dangerous. We want to do what we can to make sure the people who did this are held accountable and that no one can do this again.”
A Capitol Police officer who fatally shot protester Ashli Babbitt was cleared months ago of criminal wrongdoing and was cleared internally by the department this week, and was planning to reveal his identity in an NBC interview to air Thursday.