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Capitol Police officers sue Trump, Proud Boys over Jan. 6 attack

Sgt. Aquilino Gonell of the U.S. Capitol Police wipes away tears Tuesday as he testifies before members of the Select Committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Pool Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 26 (UPI) -- Seven Capitol Police officers on Thursday sued former President Donald Trump, the Proud Boys and others for their alleged involvement in the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, is the first to implicate that Trump and his campaign worked alongside far-right extremists and White supremacists to overthrow the 2020 election.

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Among the defendants named in the suit were Republican operative Roger Stone, the Oath Keepers, the Stop the Steal campaign and more than two dozen individuals who promoted the the baseless claim that the 2020 presidential election was stolen.

Thousands of Trump supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, immediately following a speech he gave at the Ellipse. The protesters stormed the Capitol in an effort to stop a joint session of Congress from certifying the results of the election in favor of President Joe Biden.

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During the attack, more than 140 Capitol police and Metropolitan Police officers were injured.

"Plaintiffs and their fellow law enforcement officers risked their lives to defend the Capitol from a violent, mass attack -- an attack provoked, aided and joined by defendants in an unlawful effort to use force, intimidation and threats to prevent Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 presidential election," the lawsuit said.

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"Because of defendants' unlawful actions, plaintiffs were violently assaulted, spat on, tear-gassed, bear-sprayed, subjected to racial slurs and epithets and put in fear for their lives. Plaintiffs' injuries, which defendants caused, persist to this day."

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A statement on the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, which is representing the plaintiffs, accused the defendants of violating the Ku Klux Klan Act, which bans conspiracies to use force, intimidation and threats to keep law enforcement officers from doing their job.

Plaintiffs named in the suit include Conrad Smith, Danny McElroy, Byron Evans, Governor Latson, Melissa Marshall, Michael Fortune and Jason Deroche.

"We joined the Capitol Police to uphold the law and protect the Capitol community," a statement from the officers says.

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"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."

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