Seven Capitol Police officers on Thursday filed a civil rights suit against former President Donald Trump, several of his allies and members of far-right groups over their role in the Jan. 6 riot.
The lawsuit alleges that Trump, along with groups like the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, resorted to domestic terrorism in an attempt to prevent Congress from certifying President Joe Biden’s victory and keep Trump in office. The plaintiffs argue that Trump and the other defendants violated the 1871 Ku Klux Klan Act, which in part outlawed conspiracies aimed at overthrowing the American government, citing their discredited allegations of fraud in cities with large black populations.
“Defendants targeted false claims of election fraud at cities and states with significant Black populations — including Atlanta (51% Black), Detroit (78% Black), Milwaukee (39% Black), Philadelphia (43% Black), and Pittsburgh (23% Black) — and sought to intimidate and threaten officials from those and other jurisdictions into overturning the will of the voters,” the lawsuit says.
The officers, five of whom are black, also contend that the former president and other groups violated the 1989 D.C. Bias-Related Crimes Act, which prohibits criminal acts driven by political bias.
In addition to Trump and the groups mentioned, the lawsuit also implicates Trump’s campaign and Roger Stone, one of his top allies.
“Because of Defendants’ unlawful actions, Plaintiffs were violently assaulted, spat on, tear-gassed, bear-sprayed, subjected to racial slurs and epithets, and put in fear for their lives,” the lawsuit says, adding that the “Plaintiffs’ injuries, which Defendants caused, persist to this day.”
The lawsuit is the largest brought in a civil fashion seeking to hold Trump, his allies and affiliated groups responsible for their role in the attack.
“This is probably the most comprehensive account of Jan. 6 in terms of civil cases,” Edward Caspar, an attorney for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, told The New York Times. “It spans from the former president to militants around him to his campaign supporters.”
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Andrew Trunsky on August 26, 2021
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