Two Capitol Police officers are suing former President Donald Trump for the physical and emotional injuries they say they suffered while protecting the Capitol from his mob during the Jan. 6 attack on the complex.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday night that Officers James Blassingame and Sidney Hemby filed a federal suit filed Tuesday in D.C., alleging that Trump spent months rallying his base with claims of a “rigged” or “stolen” election that reached a crescendo when his supporters descended on the Capitol in a riot that left a Capitol Police officer and four others dead.
Two officers on duty at the Capitol committed suicide in the aftermath of the attack. Among the many officers who sustained injuries during the Capitol siege, include several who suffered concussions after being struck in the head by objects such as metal poles ripped from inauguration scaffolding, police officials told the Post.
The suit, which is the first brought by Capitol Police officers against Trump, seeks compensatory damages of at least $75,000 for each officer and an undisclosed amount in punitive damages from the former president.
Blassingame and Hemby allege that Trump was directly responsible for inciting a mob of supporters gathered at his “Stop the Steal” rally who marched to the Capitol on his orders and attacked officers while destroying federal property.
According to the suit: “The insurrectionist mob, which Trump had inflamed, encouraged, incited, directed, and aided and abetted, forced its way over and past the plaintiffs and their fellow officers, pursuing and attacking them inside and outside the United States Capitol, and causing the injuries.”
Lawyers for the officers said that Trump’s supporters chased Hemby and his colleagues to the top of the stairs and forced them against the door, where he was crushed and “attacked relentlessly,” the suit stated.
“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,” the suit said.
The mob punched him, threw objects at him and sprayed him with chemicals that irritated his eyes, skin and throat, while yelling “fight for Trump” and “stop the steal,” according to the lawsuit.
The other officer in the suit, was also the subject of abuse, as the mob threw objects at him and beat him with their fists and weapons, including flagpoles and stanchions.
Blassingame said the crowd had relentlessly hurled racial slurs in his face, repeating the n-word over and over.
“It was not clear to him on January 6 that he would survive to make it home,” the suit said, noting Blassingame was unable to move after hitting his head and spine when he was slammed against a column by the mob.
In the month since the attacks, both Blassingame and Hemby have been overwhelmed with feelings of depression and guilt.
Hemby is still treating damage to his left hand and knee as well as injuties to his neck and back that require regular physical therapy.