Officers James Blassingame and Sidney Hemby described a severe physical and emotional toll from the riot that continues to haunt them. And in a 40-page lawsuit, they said Trump bears direct responsibility for unleashing violent followers upon the Capitol. Both officers are seeking unspecified compensation and damages greater than $75,000 apiece.
The lawsuit leans heavily on Trump’s own words to rioters on Jan. 6 — a public record that already resulted in his impeachment for incitement and public condemnations by lawmakers of both parties, as well as separate lawsuits by Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) and Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.).
But it’s the officer’s harrowing personal accounts that add new chapters to the growing collection of horrors unleashed that day. Blassingame said he was slammed into a stone column while rioters hurled the N-word at him. Hemby sayid he suffered hand and knee injuries that require continued medical care. Both said they suffer from ongoing emotional trauma that has upended their lives.