Two Capitol Police officers sue Trump over Jan. 6 riot injuries

The officers seek damages for claims including aiding assault and directing infliction of emotional distress


By Malathi Nayak
Bloomberg News

WASHINGTON — Two U.S. Capitol Police veterans who were on duty during the Jan. 6 riot have sued Donald Trump, accusing the former president of inciting the violent mob that injured scores of officers.

The complaint filed Tuesday follows earlier suits by two Democratic members of Congress who also blamed Trump for stoking the insurrection in a months-long effort to reverse his election loss to Joe Biden.

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as they storm the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C, on Jan. 6, 2021.
Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as they storm the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C, on Jan. 6, 2021. (Robert Schmidt/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)

Officers James Blassingame and Sidney Hemby claim protesters attacked them with aerosol chemicals, including pepper spray and tear gas, that burned their eyes, throat and skin. The officers not only suffered physical injuries but Blassingame is also dealing with depression since the riot, according to the complaint filed in federal court in Washington.

Blassingame “is 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,” according to the complaint. “He experiences guilt of being unable to help his colleagues who were simultaneously being attacked; and of surviving where other colleagues did not.”

The officers seek unspecified monetary damages for claims including aiding assault and battery and directing infliction of emotional distress.

The case is Blassingame v. Trump, 21-cv-00858, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

[NEXT: Early lessons from the Capitol Building attack]

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