Three officers sue Trump after riot left them with lasting trauma from broken limbs, concussion and chemical attacks

Officers allege former president ‘inflamed, encouraged, incited, directed, and aided and abetted’ assault

Alex Woodward
New York
Wednesday 05 January 2022 22:11
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Three law enforcement officers have accused Donald Trump of fuelling an attack on the US Capitol that left them with broken limbs, a concussion, ringing ears, night terrors and depression, after a mob of the former president’s supporters sprayed them with chemicals, hit them with flagpoles and yelled racial slurs as they forced their way into the halls of Congress on 6 January.

A lawsuit from US Capitol Police Officer Marcus Moore and a separate suit from Washington DC Metropolitan Police Department officers DeDevine Carter and Bobby Tabron seek damages for physical and emotional injuries sustained during the attack.

The civil suits filed in US District Court on 4 January allege that the former president “inflamed, encouraged, incited, directed, and aided and abetted” an assault against officers committed by a mob of his followers, fuelled by his baseless voter fraud narrative leading up to and following the 2020 presidential election.

Officers seek compensatory damages “in an amount consistent with the evidence to be shown at trial, in excess of $75,000 for each of them, plus interest and costs,” including punitive damages and attorney’s fees.

According to the lawsuits, rioters were “spurred on by Trump’s conduct over many months in getting his followers to believe his false allegation that he was about to be forced out of the White House because of massive election fraud by his campaign opponent Joe Biden, and that the convening of Congress on January 6 to count the Electoral College results and declare the winner was their last chance to ‘stop the steal.’”

Mr Moore, a 10-year veteran of the Capitol Police, guarded the doors to the House chambers with eight other officers, quickly outnumbered by a mob that rushed towards them and “crushed Moore against the wall,” according to his lawsuit.

“The combination of the crush of people pinning him to the wall and overwhelming chemical odor from bear spray and other chemicals, made it difficult for him to breathe,” according to the lawsuit. “The insurrectionists threw fire extinguishers, poles, and other objects, and struck the officers with their fists.”

Officer Moore “feared the mob was so intent on violence, he might not make it home alive,” the suit says.

He left the Capitol at 10pm, “overcome by the cognitive dissonance between what he thought he had known about the world when he started work on January 6, and what he had experienced throughout the day,” according to the lawsuit.

Officer Moore returned home just before midnight and returned to work at 7am the next morning, “which would be the beginning of a month of 12- to 16- hour shifts,” according to the suit.

He says he suffers “persistent tinnitus” and “a severe emotional toll … haunted by the memory of being attacked.”

“He suffered from depression that he could not address because he was too consumed with a sense of obligation to continue with his professional responsibilities,” according to the lawsuit. “Because the attack happened in the place to which he reports daily, he is unable to avoid most of the triggers of his emotional reactions.”

Officer Bobby Tabron has served in the Metropolitan Police Department for 19 years, and Officer Carter – who was a member of the agency’s mountain bike unit – has served the force for five years.

After arriving at the Capitol, Officer Tabron faced a crowd of rioters “who tried to grab and rip down the bicycle racks” and tossed “bottles, tear gas canisters, and other objects” while “repeatedly spraying” him with chemicals, according to the officers’ lawsuit.

One rioter struck Officer Tabron in the side of the head “with such force that it knocked his helmet sideways and left him dazed,” then others soaked his mask with chemical spray and hit with him bats and flagpoles attached to “thin blue line” flags and flags bearing Trump’s name, the suit says.

They also called him a n***** and shouted that he would “be nothing without his badge,” according to the suit.

Around the same time, Officer Carter was “sucked into the crowd which surrounded him at times on all directions,” the suit says.

Inside a “tunnel of death” under the Capitol, rioters struck officers with their shields, flagpoles, fists and chemical spray.

Chemicals saturated Officer Carter’s mask “and caused him to repeatedly vomit on himself,” according to the suit.

Officer Tabron later discovered that his wrist was broken, requiring surgery and “placement of a plate and screws to fix the fracture and has had a long recovery.”

He also suffers the “lingering effects of his concussion” after he was repeatedly struck in the head,” according to the suit.

“Officer Tabron had a quick and nimble mind before January 6,” it says. “But since, his thinking is slower, and his speech is slightly slurred … He has had physical therapy and speech therapy for his injuries. Officer Tabron suffers from insomnia, and when he can sleep, he frequently has nightmares and night terrors in which he is fighting for his life at what seemed like the end of the world.”

The Independent has requested comment from a spokesperson for Mr Trump.

The latest lawsuits follow a suit from seven other officers against the former president and several of his allies and extremist groups, accusing them of plotting to disrupt the peaceful transfer of power as Congress convened to certify the results of the 2020 election.

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