Two Capitol Police officers sued former U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday for inciting the January 6 insurrection—which left dozens of their fellow officers injured and one dead—just days after Trump appeared on Fox News and defended the rioters claiming they “love our country.”
The plaintiffs, Officers James Blassingame and Sidney Hemby, said they suffered “physical and emotional injuries” due to the riots, AFP reported.
The officers allege the insurrectionists were spurred on by Trump’s conduct following his election loss and his false claims of massive election fraud.
Blassingame—who is African-American—said he was subjected to racist attacks, incurred injuries to his head and back and is still dealing with the “severe emotional toll” from the incidents.
Hemby said he is suffering from hand and knee injuries after being crushed against the Capitol building doors and has “struggled to manage the emotional fallout from being relentlessly attacked.”
Accusing Trump of directing and abetting: assault and battery and emotional distress, incitement to riot, and violating public safety statutes, the officers are seeking compensatory damages of a minimum of $75,000 each and undisclosed amounts in punitive damages.
“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,” the officers allege in the suit.
In an interview with Fox News last week, Trump strongly defended his supporters who stormed the U.S. Capitol and claimed they posed “zero threat” and that they “love our country.” The President made no mention of the violent attacks by the insurrectionists that left one officer dead and several others injured. Trump even claimed the rioters who went inside the Capitol Building were “hugging and kissing” the police and the guards and after being “waved in” they simply walked in and walked out. Trump also tried to paint the rioters as patriots, saying: “They wave American flags, in many cases, they are waving the American flag, and they love our country.”
On January 6, a large group of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol Building in an attempt to block Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s electoral victory and overturn the election. Right before the invasion of the Capitol, Trump’s supporters had gathered in Washington for a rally organized by the former president who urged them to “fight like hell” for him at the Capitol. The ensuing riots led to the death of one police officer and four protestors. Over 350 people have since been charged for their role in the insurrection.