Judge tosses bulk of suit against feds from Lafayette Park protesters

“The plaintiffs’ claims for impending future damage are too speculative to apply for an injunction,” wrote Friedrich in a 51-page decision Released Monday afternoon.

“Such damage would require the plaintiffs to demonstrate again in Lafayette Square; that the authorities headed by the defendants with official functioning react again to the demonstration; that federal officials are again using this law enforcement response as a cover to deliberately target nonviolent peaceful demonstrators; and that one or more of the plaintiffs will be re-targeted. This hypothetical chain of events is simply too speculative to seek injunctive relief. “

However, Friedrich said she would consider challenging Plaintiffs’ First Amendment against current restrictions on use of the park north of the White House.

The judge rejected arguments that dealing with the demonstrators amounted to arrest or detention under federal law.

The lawsuits allege that “the officers attacked the demonstrators and improperly dispersed them – they did not hold them back or attempt to detain them,” the judge wrote to crowd, leaving their location instead of staying there. “

The charges widely alleged that authorities used excessive force to disperse protesters gathered in the park last June by using tear gas and pepperballs and using shields to burst into the crowd. Protesters also said officials took political retaliation on behalf of Trump, who urged police across the country to act aggressively against protesters he said had been involved in violence and property damage.

Some protesters also claimed that efforts to evict them from the park were aimed at getting Trump to walk around the park and take a photo op that he held in front of St. John’s Church just outside the plaza that afternoon.

However, a Home Office surveillance report released earlier this month said Trump’s visit to the park shortly after the demonstrators were evicted came as a surprise to many of the law enforcement agencies involved. The Inspector General’s report found several other flaws in the answer. The review was also generally limited to Interior Ministry staff.

After coming under the leadership of President Joe Biden’s appointments earlier this year, the Justice Department pushed for arguments to drop the case against the former federal officials. That sparked criticism from some liberals, who complained that the DOJ was defending inappropriate behavior by Trump-era officials.

In an obvious response to this criticism, lawyers from the Justice Department filed a decision at the court last week reports that “preliminary settlement talks” had taken place in the case.

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