U.S. Capitol Police Officers who were working during the storming of Capitol Hill on January 6 sued former President Donald Trump, his allies and members of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers on Thursday. The officers allege the defendants intentionally sent a mob of violent demonstrators to disrupt the certification of Joe Biden as then-president-elect.
The Associated Press reported that the suit claims Trump “worked with white supremacists, violent extremist groups, and campaign supporters to violate the Ku Klux Klan Act, and commit acts of domestic terrorism in an unlawful effort to stay in power.”
The suit was filed in federal court in Washington on behalf of seven officers by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and names Trump, the Trump campaign, Roger Stone and members of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers.
The lawsuit includes detailed descriptions of the events on January 6, as well as the injuries the officers sustained while working at the Capitol. According to the filing, officer Jason DeRoche was struck with batteries and sprayed with mace and bear spray until he could no longer open his swollen eyes.
“We joined the Capitol Police to uphold the law and protect the Capitol community,” the group of officers said in a statement released by their lawyers. “On Jan. 6 we tried to stop people from breaking the law and destroying our democracy. Since then our jobs and those of our colleagues have become infinitely more dangerous. We want to do what we can to make sure the people who did this are held accountable and that no one can do this again.”
The lawsuit comes less than one week after the Federal Bureau of Investigation found the January 6 storming was not organized by pro-Donald Trump groups as part of a plot to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.
More than 570 alleged participants have been arrested since the demonstration, but the FBI believes they are almost all “one-off cases” and not due to a centrally coordinated “far-right” effort, nor are they the result of an organized push by then-President Donald Trump supporters.
“Ninety to ninety-five percent of these are one-off cases,” said a former senior law enforcement official familiar with the investigation. “Then you have five percent, maybe, of these militia groups that were more closely organized. But there was no grand scheme with Roger Stone and Alex Jones and all of these people to storm the Capitol and take hostages.”