A federal lawsuit was already filed Friday afternoon, accusing officers with the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department and the U.S. Park Service Police of using excessive force in making arrests on Inauguration Day.
According to a copy of the complaint reviewed by LawNewz.com, the alleged incident occurred without warning “[a]round the time of Trump’s swearing in.” The complaint continues, “John Doe MPD Officers and John Doe Park Police officers surrounded individuals who were at or near 12th & L St., NW. 16.”
It further states, “Defendants proceeded to indiscriminately and repeatedly deploy chemical irritants, attack the individuals with batons, and throw flash-bang grenades at the kettled individuals.”
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of groups of individuals caught up in the alleged “kettle” who “were subjected to this outrageous conduct by the defendants for no legitimate law enforcement reason.”
“None of the plaintiffs who are members of this class destroyed or attempted to destroy property, assaulted or attempted to assault any individuals, rioted, or in any way would have appeared to the police to have been breaking the law. Further, many of the members of the class were peacefully protesting,” the lawsuit alleges.
The plaintiffs also claim the officers announced everyone inside the kettle was under arrest, despite an alleged lack of probable cause to place any of the plaintiffs (those not involved in property destruction) under arrest.
The lawsuit claims officers used “a large amount of chemical irritants against the plaintiffs, as well as struck multiple plaintiffs with their batons, and deployed flash-bang grenades” . . . which “under the circumstances constituted unreasonable and excessive force.”
The complaint goes on to seek certification to move forward as a class-action lawsuit and monetary damages as a result of the actions allegedly committed by officers.
While the incident mentioned in the lawsuit appears to have occurred earlier in the day, it does seem to share some similarities with what was captured by television cameras later in the day, well after the Inaugural Address was complete.
[image via screengrab]