Seven U.S. Capitol Police officers are suing former President Donald Trump, his campaign, his associate Roger Stone, and members of the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers, alleging that “their unlawful efforts culminated in the Jan. 6 mass attack on the United States Capitol.”
The lawsuit, filed on Thursday in federal court, alleges that the defendants violated the federal KKK Act and the D.C. Bias Related Crimes Act, both of which protect victims of prejudice against political violence and intimidation.
“Trump and other Defendants propagated false claims of election fraud, encouraged the use of force, intimidation, and threats, and incited violence against members of Congress and the law enforcement officers whose job it was to protect them,” the lawsuit says. “Defendants’ unlawful efforts culminated in the January 6 mass attack on the United States Capitol and the brutal, physical assault of hundreds of law enforcement officers. Many Defendants in this case planned, aided, and actively participated in that attack. All Defendants are responsible for it.”
The suit alleges that because Trump and his associates targeted majority-minority communities in their allegations of election fraud, the attack on the Capitol drew white supremacists who hurled racial epithets at officers.
“Many Black law enforcement officers protecting the Capitol were assaulted, threatened, spat on, and subjected to racial slurs,” says the suit. “In a striking example, one attacker marched through the Capitol’s halls displaying an unfurled Confederate flag, a symbol of white supremacy and racism. Across the Capitol grounds, attackers brazenly displayed other symbols of white supremacy, flashing white power hand symbols and displaying anti-Semitic imagery and slogans on their clothes.”
Representatives for Trump, the Proud Boys and Oath Keepers did not respond to ABC News’ requests for comment.
Stone, in a statement released Friday, said the lawsuit was filed by “leftist lawyers” with “political rather than legal motives,” calling it “a textbook example of lawfare, the filing of baseless lawsuits as an effective form of political harassment.”
“I never instructed anyone to hurt people at the Capitol, let alone a police officer, on Jan. 6 or at any other time, nor did I conspire to deprive anyone of their civil rights. The lawsuit is therefore without merit and lacks the factual basis to include me among those who were served,” Stone said as part of his statement. “You may not agree with what I have to say, but the First Amendment protects speech that does not encourage violence.”
The lawsuit alleges that Trump, in addressing supporters prior to the attack, knew that the crowd would react with violence, and that he praised the attackers.
“Trump knew the crowd would, and did, understand his speech and those of other speakers to be a provocative call to action, and as instructions [said] to proceed directly to the United States Capitol and use force, intimidation, and threats to stop the count of electoral votes,” the lawsuit says. “Knowing all this, and in a calculated attempt to provide himself with cover, Trump said, ‘Everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol Building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.'”
The officers said they sustained physical injuries, and an African American officer identified as Officer Fortune said he was called the N-word by numerous Capitol rioters.
“He had to force his way through the attackers and injured officers to join his unit,” the suit says. “When he arrived at the Capitol, he saw that it was like a war zone, with chemical fog in the air, tables flipped, statues defaced, feces on the walls, and blood and broken glass on the floors. For the next several hours, while inhaling a smog of chemical pollutants and sustaining burns from those chemicals, Officer Fortune helped clear the Capitol of remaining attackers, search for any hidden improvised explosive devices, and carry injured officers to a triage center for medical treatment.”
The officers are seeking unspecified damages.
“We joined the Capitol Police to uphold the law and protect the Capitol community,” the seven officers said in a statement released by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which brought the suit on behalf of the officers. “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.”
ABC News’ Will Steakin contributed to this report.