A group of seven officers of the Capitol police force have brought a lawsuit against former President Donald Trump, as well as a host of his advisers and most enthusiastically violent followers, accusing them of fomenting and enacting the Jan. 6 insurrection attempt.
The suit, filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, names not only Trump, but also his longtime adviser and confidant Roger Stone, "Stop The Steal" organizer Ali Alexander, and right-wing militia groups the Proud Boys and the Oathkeepers, alleging that they were subjected to both physical and psychological injury from "an attack provoked, aided, and joined by defendants in an unlawful effort to use force, intimidation, and threats to prevent Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election."
In filing their lawsuit, officers Conrad Smith, Danny McElroy, Byron Evans, Governor Latson, Melissa Marshall, Michael Fortune, and Jason DeRoche join a growing number of officials who have brought legal action against the former president and his various associates for their role in allegedly helping instigate and participating in the Jan. 6 coup attempt. This past April, two other Capitol police officers sued Trump for $75,000 in damages for injuries they claim they sustained during the riot. Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell has also filed a lawsuit against Trump and his allies, including fellow congressman Mo Brooks, for precipitating the insurrection.
Notably, the suit filed Thursday not only describes the attacks the officers faced during the riot itself, but states in unambiguous terms that:
Racism and white supremacy pervaded defendants' efforts from the outset. Defendants targeted false claims of election fraud at cities and states with significant Black populations — including Atlanta (51% Black), Detroit (78% Black), Milwaukee (39% Black), Philadelphia (43% Black), and Pittsburgh (23% Black) — and sought to intimidate and threaten officials from those and other jurisdictions into overturning the will of the voters. They relied on white supremacist groups and sympathizers to organize and hold rallies and to help plan and carry out the Capitol attack. Participants in the attack directed racial epithets at Black officers protecting the Capitol. And after breaching the Capitol, the attackers paraded the Confederate flag and other symbols of white supremacy through the Capitol's halls.
The link between racist agitating and the vile bigoted attacks against Capitol police officers of color was earlier described by officer Harry Dunn — who is not named as a plaintiff in the suit — when he told a congressional committee in July that "one woman in a pink MAGA shirt yelled 'You hear that guys? This n*gger voted for Joe Biden.' Then the crowd, perhaps around 20 people, joined in screaming 'Boo! F*cking n*gger!'"
"No one had ever, ever called me a n*gger while wearing the uniform of a Capitol officer," he added.
The officers in this latest suit have asked for unspecified injunctive, compensatory, and punitive damages from the long list of defendants named, and are seeking a trial by jury.
While Trump has not yet officially responded to the suit, he has reportedly spent his summer mocking the officers who testified before congress in July, calling them "pussies" for not being tough in the face of the mob onslaught.