Seven Capitol Police officers who responded to the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection are suing ex-President Donald Trump and his allies for encouraging and, in the case of some defendants, participating in the violent attack.
The lawsuit names Trump, the Trump campaign, Roger Stone, and more than a dozen members of far-right organizations and militias, including Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, as the defendants. It was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
The defendants “conspired to use force, intimidation, and threats” to prevent Joe Biden from entering office, prevent Congress from certifying the 2020 elections, and prevent the U.S. Capitol Police from being able to carry out their duty to protect the area, the lawsuit alleges.
“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 filing states. “Plaintiffs’ injuries, which Defendants caused, persist to this day.”
The 71-page lawsuit alleges a long conspiracy, perpetrated by Trump, to stoke fury and distrust of the 2020 election results among his supporters through lies about election fraud. The effort, the lawsuit says, culminated in Trump encouraging violence in order to overturn his defeat.
Trump began laying the groundwork for the Capitol attack as early as May last year, when he started peddling the lie that mail-in voting led to voter fraud and claiming that he would only lose the election if it were “rigged,” the lawsuit argues.
The plaintiffs, five of whom are Black, highlight in their lawsuit the racist elements of Trump and co.’s election fraud lies and the insurrection they incited.
The then-president and his allies repeatedly accused cities and counties with large Black populations of casting fraudulent votes, the lawsuit notes.
That rhetoric directed Trump supporters’ rage at Black people, the suit also argues, rage the Black officers faced directly when the mob hurled racial slurs at them while breaking into the Capitol.
The lawsuit notes that several of the insurrectionists openly flaunted white supremacist symbols during the attack, including a Confederate flag.
“Racism and white supremacy pervaded Defendants’ efforts from the outset,” the filing states.
The plaintiffs allege that Trump and the others violated the Ku Klux Klan Act, a law that was established to counteract white supremacist violence aimed at disenfranchising Black voters. The NAACP and several Democratic lawmakers cited the same law in their lawsuit against Trump and Rudy Giuliani, filed earlier this year.
Read the lawsuit below: