Two Capitol police officers, James Blassingame and Sidney Hemby, have filed suit against former president Donald Trump in connection with the attack on the US Capitol on January 6.
The complaint states that Trump, for his alleged involvement in inciting the attack, committed the following torts: directing assault and battery, aiding and abetting assault and battery, directing intentional infliction of emotional distress, incitement to riot, and disorderly conduct. The complaint alleges that Trump’s incitement of the riot was reflective of a pattern of “threaten[ing] violence towards his opponents, encourag[ing] his followers to commit acts of violence, and condon[ing] acts of violence by his followers, including white supremacists and far right-wing hate groups” dating back to his 2016 presidential campaign.
The complaint recounts Trump’s allegations that the election would be rigged, his statement commanding “Proud Boys” to “stand back and stand by,” his refusal to “urge his supporters to ‘stay calm'” if the election seemed unfair, and his proclamation that he won the election in spite of “hundreds of thousands of votes” still being counted.
The complaint also includes several of Trump’s tweets supporting those who came to protest the “stolen” election. Many of his followers hosted protests between November 3 and January 6. At the second “Million MAGA March” on December 12, four individuals were stabbed and eight police officers were injured. According to the complaint, after these events “[o]fficials warned Trump that his incendiary rhetoric about the election could cause injury or death, but he persisted.” On December 19, Trump first tweeted about the planned protest on January 6, stating, “Be there, will be wild!” On January 6, he tweeted, “Get smart Republicans. FIGHT!”
During the insurrection on January 6, Officer Hemby “was crushed against the doors on the east side trying to hold the insurrectionists back.” Many of the rioters struck him and sprayed him “with chemicals that irritated his eyes, skin, and throat.” As a result of the attack, Officer Hemby “was bleeding from a cut located less than an inch from his eye. He had cuts and abrasions on his face and hands and his body was pinned against a large metal door, fending off attacks.” Officer Blassingame was thrown “against a stone column. He struck his spine and the back of his head and was unable to move.” Rioters shouted racial slurs into his face and struck him, making him fear for his life. Officer Blassingame continues to struggle with depression and trauma surrounding the events of January 6. Officer Hemby continues to suffer from sleep disturbances and receives physical therapy several times a week for the injuries he sustained to his neck and back.
Due to a combination of Trump’s statements before, during, and after the attack as well as statements by insurrectionists that they attacked at Trump’s command, the two officers seek to prove Trump’s liability for the attacks. The officers seek monetary and punitive damages for their injuries.