Two Capitol Police officers who were on duty during the deadly Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol sued former President Donald J. Trump on Tuesday, saying he was responsible for the physical and emotional injuries they had suffered as a result of the day’s events.
Supporters of Mr. Trump overran the Capitol as Congress was certifying Joe Biden’s victory over Mr. Trump in the November presidential election. Before the incursion, Mr. Trump spoke at a nearby rally, where he urged his supporters to “show strength” and “fight like hell.”
Five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died in the mayhem. Mr. Trump was later impeached by the House of Representatives on a single charge of “incitement of insurrection,” but was acquitted in February after a brief Senate trial in which few Republicans broke ranks to vote guilty.
The Capitol Police officers who sued Mr. Trump, James Blassingame and Sidney Hemby, filed their complaint in the Federal District Court in the District of Columbia, and are each seeking compensatory damages in excess of $75,000, plus punitive damages.
false assertions of widespread electoral fraud in November. The complaint also said that Mr. Trump’s supporters believed swarming the Capitol was their last chance to stop Mr. Trump from being unfairly forced out of the White House.
Mr. Trump “inflamed, encouraged, incited, directed, and aided and abetted” the mob that overran the building and attacked police personnel inside, the complaint said. It cited Mr. Trump’s Jan. 6 speech and other conduct, including what it said was his failure that day to “take timely action to stop his followers from continued violence.”
During the attack, Officer Hemby, an 11-year veteran of the Capitol Police, was outside the building, crushed against the side and sprayed with chemicals that burned his eyes, skin and throat, the complaint said. One member of the mob screamed that he was “disrespecting the badge.”
at least 138 of their officers were injured during the riot. The injuries ranged from minor bruises to concussions, rib fractures, burns and even a mild heart attack.