U.S. Capitol police officers sue Trump over Jan. 6 insurrection

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Seven United States Capitol police officers have sued President Trump and his allies over the insurrection on January 6, during which protestors breached the Capitol building, wreaking havoc that ended with the death of at least one protester and an officer. In the ensuing weeks and months after the insurrection, at least four Capitol officers have died by suicide. 

Filing a lawsuit in United States district court representing the District of Columbia, the officers’ complaint includes allegations of conspiracy between the twice-impeached former president and several of his allies, including Roger Stone and the Proud Boys white supremacist group. The filing notes that the conspiracy culminated in Trump’s supporters ransacking the Capitol building that the officers had sworn to protect.

According to a lawyer for the group, “These officers risked their lives and were brutally attacked defending the right of every citizen to a government of their choosing. If they didn’t do what they did that day – if they didn’t have the courage to stand up – I don’t know that we’d be living in a democracy today.”

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Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as they push barricades to storm the Capitol in Washington on Jan. 6. Roberto Schmidt AFP via Getty Images.

Lawsuit based on Ku Klux Klan Act

Several officers recounted that harrowing day in January 2021, which was preceded by a Trump rally promoting the false narrative that Mr. Trump won the 2020 election. Meanwhile, President Biden claimed the victory, decisively winning by over 7 million votes, in an election that included a record turnout of voters from across the country.

One officer, veteran Jason DeRoche, stated that regarding the January 6 insurrection, “It’s a threat, period. It’s a domestic terrorist threat that the general public needs to be aware of. I don’t want this to happen again anywhere else in the country.” 

The officers’ case is based on the federal Ku Klux Klan Act, which states that individuals may sue when they are injured by conspiracies that “prevent, by force, intimidation, or threat, any person from accepting or holding any office, trust, or place of confidence under the United States.”

Neither Mr. Trump nor Mr. Stone has commented on the allegations. Proud Boys leader Enrique Tariq, who was recently sentenced to prison for burning a Black Lives Matter flag during a protest last year, also did not address the lawsuit. 

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2 comments

Jenni August 28, 2021 - 12:13 am

I’m trying to do a search for the sentencing of Enrique Tariq of the Proud Boys for the Jan 6 insurrection, but I’m not finding anything. Does anyone have a link? Article Author Erika Stone, do you have something you can post?

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Erika Stone, Senior Staff Writer August 28, 2021 - 7:59 am

Thank you, Jenni! We have edited it to reflect the sentencing was for burning a BLM flag last year.

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