A US judge on Monday (June 21) dismissed complaints from civil rights groups against former President Donald Trump and members of his administration, accused of ordering the brutal dispersal of peaceful protesters near the White House. last summer in full swing Black Lives Matter (“black lives matter”).
The powerful civil rights organization ACLU accused Donald Trump, but also the former American ministers of justice and defense, William Barr and Mark Esper, of having targeted “Black people” who demonstrated peacefully “With illegal use of force” for the sole purpose of clearing the grounds of Saint John’s Church, an iconic building opposite the White House, so that the Republican President could be photographed there, Bible in hand, on 1is June 2020.
The images of activists of the Black Lives Matter movement dispersed by the police using pepper spray had made the rounds of the Internet triggering a heated controversy in the United States, shaken at the time by unprecedented anti-racist demonstrations provoked by the death of African American George Floyd.
Possibility of claiming compensation
Washington Federal Judge Dabney Friedrich, however, said there was a lack of evidence to establish a will to harm. “The plaintiffs’ accusations of physical harm are too speculative”, she wrote in her decision. They “Do not show sufficient events, discussions or documents showing an agreement or a common will of the defendants to infringe the rights of the plaintiffs on the basis of their membership of a specific group”added Judge Dabney Friedrich.
“This decision gives the federal government permission to use violence, including lethal violence against protesters, as long as the authorities claim to act in order to protect national security.”, responded Scott Michelman, of the ACLU organization.
Judge Dabney Friedrich, however, left the associations with the possibility of claiming compensation from the city of Washington, the District of Columbia, and the city of Arlington.