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

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Donald and Melania Trump walk amongst sparse crowds on the way to his January 20, swearing in. Source: Department of Homeland Security.

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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2020 Election

Lincoln Project releases harrowing new video of the future if Trump wins re-election

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The Lincoln Project, the group of former top GOP strategists seeking to beat President Donald Trump in the 2020 election, released another new video on Monday evening.

Unlike other videos, the latest release did not feature Trump saying crazy things. Instead, it is more like a 60-second short film.

It features a mother listening to election night returns. She goes into her son's bedroom and lovingly awakens him.

"Hey honey, you asked me to wake you and tell you what happened in the election," she says.

"Who won?" the child asked.

"Trump," she replied. "Trump won."

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Amy Coney Barrett confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court despite questions of legitimacy

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The US Senate confirmed conservative jurist Amy Coney Barrett as the Supreme Court's newest justice Monday, delivering President Donald Trump a landmark win just eight days before the election.

The deeply divided chamber voted 52 to 48, largely along party lines in the Republican-controlled Senate, making Barrett the third Trump nominee to reach the high court and cementing a six-to-three conservative majority.

Republican lawmakers broke into applause as the tally was read out, and the White House is also expected to celebrate the confirmation in the final run-up to the November 3 election, in which more than 60 million Americans have already voted.

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House Judiciary GOP slammed for ‘bizarre and psychopathic’ tweet implying Barrett is a birthday gift for Hillary Clinton

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On Monday evening, the House Judiciary Committee tweeted a gloating jab at Hillary Clinton following the confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court.

Amy Coney Barrett, confirmed. Happy Birthday, @HillaryClinton!

— House Judiciary GOP (@JudiciaryGOP) October 27, 2020

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