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DC cops used ‘molestation and rape as punishment’ against activists arrested at Trump inauguration: suit

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Journalists and activists have sued Washington, D.C., and 170 police officers over alleged sexual abuse after they were arrested during protests against the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

The plaintiffs — photojournalist Shay Horse, legal observer Judah Ariel and demonstrators Elizabeth Legesse and Milo Gonzalez — claim officers violated their civil rights after rounding them up with hundreds of other activists and reporters, reported Think Progress.

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The suit filed by the ACLU of D.C. seeks compensatory and punitive damages against the district, police chief Peter Newsham and two unnamed officers over their Jan. 20 arrests and their treatment in a confined “kettle” area set up on a city street corner.

According to the complaint, an officer ordered five of the detainees to take off their pants before grabbing their testicles and then inserting a finger into their anuses as other officers laughed.

“I felt like they were using molestation and rape as punishment,” said Horse, one of six journalists arrested during the demonstrations. “They used those tactics to inflict pain and misery on people who are supposed to be innocent until proven guilty. It felt like they were trying to break me and the others — break us so that even if the charges didn’t stick, that night would be our punishment.”

Police said in a statement that the officers’ conduct would be investigated, but the department defended the Inauguration Day arrests as lawful.

An attorney for the ACLU said he wasn’t confident an internal investigation would deal appropriately with the officers’ actions, which he said appeared to be highly coordinated.

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The U.S. attorney for Washington, D.C., declined comment to Think Progress on how the lawsuit might affect the 202 felony prosecutions the office is pursuing against demonstrators arrested during Trump’s inauguration.

Correction: A previous version of this story reported that three police officers were listed as plaintiffs in the complaint.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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Trump is trying to twist the census to fit his ‘politics of greed and fear’: Black lawmakers

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On Monday, writing for The Washington Post, Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) and former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams condemned President Donald Trump's latest push to rewrite the rules of the census for partisan and racial reasons.

"To tell the story of America, we must see who lives within her borders," wrote Bass and Abrams. "The census is the constitutionally protected tool wielded every 10 years to take stock, assess the accuracy of our national narrative, and ensure a fair and equitable distribution of political power and money to the places where people live. The mandatory decennial count is laid out in the founding documents of our nation. Over time, we have bettered its process from its original horrific approach. For nearly a century, for every five black Americans, only three were included in the count — the despicable Three-Fifths Compromise built on the assumption that each Black person was subhuman, three-fifths of one. After the Civil War, the 14th Amendment eliminated this practice and, now, the Constitution guarantees an enumeration of 'whole' persons."

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GOP strategist rues ‘big mistake’ — that led to his family’s COVID-19 infections

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The tweet Richard Costigan posted July 23 was bluntly honest: “We tried our best to limit exposure to #COVID19 but we slipped up somewhere.”

Costigan tweeted while waiting anxiously in the parking lot of a hospital outside Sacramento. The veteran Republican political consultant had just dropped his wife, Gloria, off at the emergency room. He wasn’t allowed to go in with her.

🙏 needed 🚨! My wife is in the #ER as she can’t catch her breath. She has been having severe coughing fits that won’t stop. We tried our best to limit exposure to #COVID19 but we slipped up somewhere. I am coughing as well. This🦠 is nasty. I am waiting in parking lot.

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“Forgiveness isn’t given lightly”: El Pasoans balance healing with anger a year after Walmart massacre

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It’s been about a year since the lyrics to the Spanish-language ballad rang out in the parking lot of a shopping complex in east-central El Paso. The song, Amor Eterno, was penned by borderland hero Juan Gabriel and speaks about a family’s tragic loss. It was played several times here in the aftermath of one of the deadliest mass shootings in the state’s history.

On Monday, the lyrics resonated once again as a duo sang its message of agony and remembrance just before 23 white doves were released in honor of the victims.

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