A few days ago Donald Trump told the world that the violent insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol were “zero threat.” In defiance of the incredible violence we see on video Trump effectively declared that fake news, saying the insurrectionists were “hugging and kissing the police and the guards.”
Yesterday two of those police officers sued Donald Trump for the injuries they received on January 6th and the emotional damages they have suffered since. You can read the lawsuit here. The two officers, with a combined 28 years experience as Capitol Police, seek to hold Trump accountable for their injuries based on the following alleged causes of action:
- Directing Assault and Battery
- Aiding and Abetting Assault and Battery
- Directing Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
- Liability Per Se for Violation of D.C. Code § 22–1322 — Incitement to Riot
- Liability Per Se for Violation of D.C. Code § 22–1321 — Disorderly Conduct
The officers allege that “during his 2016 campaign, and throughout his presidency, Trump had threatened violence towards his opponents, encouraged his followers to commit acts of violence, and condoned acts of violence by his followers, including white supremacists and far rightwing hate groups.” [¶ 10 of Complaint]. Trump’s “conduct and statements leading up to and on [January 6th], and his failure on that date to take timely action to stop his followers from continued violence at the Capitol” led to their physical and emotional damages. ¶ 9.
The interaction with the insurrectionists and the police were not friendly and the insurrectionists made clear they were there because of Trump:
77. Inside the Capitol, the insurrectionists continued to physically attack Capitol Police, while taunting them, saying, among other things, “You’re outnumbered. There’s a fucking million of us out there. And we are listening to Trump — your boss,” “We can take you out,” and, “We were invited here by the President of the United States.”
The hateful words of the insurrectionists translated into incredible physical violence against the plaintiffs:
86. Among the weapons Officer Blassingame could see were flagpoles like those he had seen on D Street early in the morning; water bottles; bottles of other unknown liquids; parts of signs they were ripping from the walls of the Crypt and hallway; and flags, flagpoles, and rope-line posts that had been taken from the Crypt and other parts of the Capitol building . . .
90. Then a forceful surge of insurrectionists pushed forward and slammed Officer Blassingame against a stone column. He struck his spine and the back of his head and was unable to move.
The racist nature of violent Trump supporters was also laid bare:
91. For the first time in his life, people were yelling into his face, calling him a “nigger” repeatedly and throughout the attack in the Crypt. He lost count of the many times the racial slur was hurled at him.
Read this and then go back up and read what Trump said about these people.
92. Insurrectionists threatened him they would “fuck you up if you don’t get out of our way,” and to “get down or I’ll put you down.”
93. The insurrectionists struck Officer Blassingame in his face, head, chest, arms, and what felt like every part of his body. 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.
Trump, and his supporters, present themselves as lovers of the police. Now Trump and two Capitol Police officers are adversarial parties in a lawsuit where the police allege Trump brought violence down upon them. The per se counts listed above means those police allege President Trump committed criminal acts leading to the harms they suffered.
What these officers experienced was horrific. That the horror can be credibly alleged to have brought down upon them by the actions of the President of the United States is unconscionable. That this same President tries to gaslight the American people by converting that experience hugging and kissing is beyond redemption.
RELATED ARTICLE: Trump’s Aiding And Abetting Assault And Battery: What D.C. Case Law Says.