The two officers accuse Trump of intentionally sparking the January 6th riots, in which they were both injured.
Two U.S. Capitol Police officers have filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump.
According to CNBC, the officers blame the former president for “physical and emotional injuries” they sustained during the January 6 riots outside the United States Capitol building.
In their complaint, they say that Trump intentionally “inflamed, encouraged, incited, directed, and aided and abetted” rioters who broke into the Capitol and forced legislators to evacuate the premises. The riot resulted in extensive property damages, multiple injuries, and five deaths.
CNBC identifies the plaintiffs as Officers Sidney Hemby and James Blassingame. Both men have served with the Capitol police for more than a decade each.
Together, they allege that Trump’s rhetoric “resulted in injuries to United States Capitol Police officers and Metropolitan Police Department” personnel, themselves included.
Blassingame, for instance, “suffered injuries to his head and back.”
“A forceful surge of insurrectionists pushed forward and slammed Officer Blassingame against a stone column. He struck his spine and the back of his head and was unable to move,” the suit says.
The complaint further alleges that rioters yelled racial epithets while attacking Blassingame, who is African-American.
Blassingame later said he “lost count of” the number of times rioters called him the N-word.
Now, nearly three months after the riot, he continues to be “haunted” by the attack.
Hemby, similarly, received injuries to his left hand; his left knee, too, became painful and swollen. He is currently receiving physical therapy three days per week to rehabilitate other injuries to his neck and back.
“Officer Hemby was attacked relentlessly,” the lawsuit says. “He was bleeding from a cut located less than an inch from his eye. He had cuts and abrasions on his face and hands and his body was pinned against a large metal door, fending off attacks.”
Hemby and Blassingame are asking a court to award them $75,000 in compensatory damages. They have also requested punitive damages from Trump, “to punish him for his intentional and wanton and reckless behavior, and to deter others from engaging in similar behavior.”
Shortly before handing the White House over to President Joe Biden, Trump was impeached—for a second time—before Congress. While Trump stood accused of inciting the Capitol riots, his defense team told the Senate that the commander-in-chief’s incendiary words should not have been construed as calls for violence.
However, the officers’ lawsuit cites Trump’s speeches and statements as evidence.
Shortly before the riots broke out, President Trump instructed his supporters to “fight like hell” and march to the Capitol.
“As he was making these remarks, Trump’s followers on the Ellipse began chanting ‘Fight like Hell,’ and ‘Fight for Trump.’ After he was done speaking, they changed to, ‘Storm the Capitol,’ ‘Invade the Capitol Building,’ and ‘Take the Capitol right now,’” the lawsuit recalls.
“As Trump concluded his speech near the White House, his followers who were already at the Capitol became insurrectionists,” it said.