Bloomberg News is reporting that two U.S. Capitol Police who were inured during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot have sued Donald Trump, accusing the former president of inciting the violent mob that attacked them.
The complaint filed Tuesday follows earlier suits by two Democratic members of Congress who also blamed Trump for stoking the insurrection in a months-long effort to reverse his election loss to Joe Biden.
Officers James Blassingame and Sidney Hemby claim protesters attacked them with aerosol chemicals, including pepper spray and tear gas, that burned their eyes, throat and skin. The officers not only suffered physical injuries but Blassingame is also dealing with depression since the riot, according to the complaint filed in federal court in Washington.
Blassingame “is haunted by the memory of being attacked, and of the sensory impacts — the sights, sounds, smells and even tastes of the attack remain close to the surface,” according to the complaint. “He experiences guilt of being unable to help his colleagues who were simultaneously being attacked; and of surviving where other colleagues did not.”
In the filing, Henby said the Jan. 6 riot also took a mental toll on him.
“When he got home on the night of January 6, 2021, he was in a heightened emotional state and unable to sleep,” the lawsuit read. “He relived the moments he was under attack. He felt unsafe and each time he drifted off to sleep, he was awakened by the fear that people were trying to break into his home.”
The case was filed in U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia. The officers are seeking at least $75,000 in monetary damages. Blassingame is a 17-year veteran of the Capitol Police, and Hemby is an 11-year veteran.
The defendant in the lawsuit is identified as: Donald J. Trump, The Mar-a-Lago Club, 1100 S. Ocean Blvd., Palm Beach, FL 33480.
The officers said they suffered physical and emotional damages because Trump allegedly “inflamed, encouraged, incited (and) directed” the violent mob that stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, according to CNN.
At a “Stop the Steal” rally at the Ellipse preceding the march on the Capitol, Trump and other speakers urged the crowd to fight to overturn the results of the presidential election as Congress was meeting to certify the Electoral Vote count.
TMZ reported that it had obtained a copy of the court filing by the two officers.
According to the documents obtained by TMZ, Hemby says the riot resulted in him being “crushed against the doors on the east side” while “trying to hold the insurrectionists back.” He claims he suffered cuts and abrasions on his face, hands and body while the mob attacked.
Blassingame claims he was slammed against a stone column, injuring his spine and the back of his head. In addition to the physical attack, he says people were yelling and repeatedly calling him a n****r.
As for Trump’s responsibility for the attack … both officers point to his December 19 tweet where he said, “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there. Will be wild!” They assert that was a battle cry … “taken by many of [Trump’s] supporters as a literal call to arms.”
Keith DB has added a comment with a link to the text of the lawsuit: www.justsecurity.org/…
The two officers are represented by D.C. attorney Patrick A. Malone, who is rated as one of the leading plaintiff ‘s attorneys in the country and has authored several widely used guide books for trial lawyers.