Two Capitol police officers claim the former president ‘inflamed’ the ‘insurrectionist mob’ that stormed Capitol Hill on January 6 and caused them to suffer horrific injuries.
- Mar 31, 2021
Donald Trump is faced with yet another legal repercussion in the wake of the Capitol riot. The former president is now sued by two Capitol police officers for inciting the violent insurrection on January 6.
James Blassingame, a 17-year veteran, and Sidney Hemby, an 11-year veteran, filed the lawsuit on Tuesday, March 30. Claiming that they suffered horrific injuries during the riot, they blame it on the ex-POTUS.
Blassingame and Hemby say in the lawsuit that they were among other officers who were attacked with “rocks, bottles, fire extinguishers, metal poles.” As detailed in the court docs, Blassingame claims he was slammed against a stone column, injuring his spine and the back of his head. He added that people were yelling and repeatedly calling him a n****r.
In addition to the physical attack, Blassingame says he sustained a “severe emotional toll” in light of the incident, including depression. He says he’s “haunted by the memory of being attacked, and of the sensory impacts – the sights, sounds, smells and even tastes of the attack remain close to the surface.” The lawsuit goes on stating, “He experiences guilt of being unable to help his colleagues who were simultaneously being attacked; and of surviving where other colleagues did not.”
In his part, Hemby says the riot resulted in him being “crushed against the doors on the east side” while “trying to hold the insurrectionists back.” He claims he suffered cuts and abrasions on his face, hands and body in the attack.
The lawsuit says the riot took a mental toll on Hemby as well. “When he got home on the night of January 6, 2021, he was in a heightened emotional state and unable to sleep,” the lawsuit reads. “He relived the moments he was under attack. He felt unsafe and each time he drifted off to sleep, he was awakened by the fear that people were trying to break into his home.”
As to why Trump is responsible for the attack, both officers point to his December 19 tweet where he said, “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there. Will be wild!” They assert that was a battle cry “taken by many of [Trump’s] supporters as a literal call to arms.”
The officers are seeking unspecified monetary damages with the lawsuit, but documents say the “amount in controversy exceeds $75,000, not counting interest and costs.”
This is the third lawsuit filed against Trump over the Capitol riot. In February, Rep. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi sued Trump, alleging that Trump and Rudolph Giuliani conspired with two extremist groups, the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, to violate federal civil rights laws and local incitement laws.
Meanwhile, Rep. Eric Swalwell, a Democrat from California, filed a lawsuit against the former president earlier this month after the House of Representatives failed to impeach Trump. He seeks to turn those allegations into a civil case.