U.S. Capitol police officers sue former President Donald Trump, accusing him of inciting Capitol riot
WASHINGTON – Two Capitol Police officers, repeatedly assaulted during the Capitol siege, have sued former President Donald Trump, accusing him of inciting the riot that left five dead and injured more than 100 officers.
James Blassingame and Sidney Hemby are seeking damages in excess of $75,000, each, accusing the former president of gathering and unleashing a mob that ultimately breached the Capitol after violent clashes with officers.
“Trump’s words and conduct leading up to and on January 6, 2021… demonstrated a willful and wanton disregard for and a reckless indifference to James Blassingame’s and Sidney Hemby’s safety and that of their fellow officers,” the officers said.
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“His words and conduct gave direction to and aided and abetted his followers in the commission of … assault, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.”
Suit describes alleged actions of rioters
Blassingame and Hemby separately described beatings they suffered at the hands of rioters, who allegedly pinned Hemby and in a doorway while Blassingame was swarmed by attackers armed with flagpoles and chemical spray.
“The insurrectionists struck Officer Blassingame in his face, head, chest, arms, and what felt like every part of his body,” according to the court documents. “Insurrectionists used their fists and had weapons that ranged from flagpoles to stanchions and building directional signs, water bottles and other objects he could not identify,” the documents said.
“The threats and attacks on Officer Blassingame seemed endless.”
The attacks, the officers said, were the results of Trump’s conduct over “many months in getting his followers to believe his false allegation that he was about to be forced out of the White House because of massive election fraud by his presidential adversary Joe Biden, and that the convening of Congress on January 6 to count the Electoral College results and declare the winner was their last chance to stop the steal.”
“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,” the lawsuit says.
The officers’ legal action follows similar lawsuits brought by Democratic lawmakers who say Trump and his associates, including personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, are to blame for encouraging the assault.