The city of Washington filed a complaint Tuesday, December 14 against extreme right-wing groups, the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, and against some thirty of their officials, accused of having “Planned, promoted and participated” storming the Capitol on January 6. Most of the individuals named in the complaint are already the subject of federal criminal proceedings and could face trial in the spring.
After a speech by President Donald Trump evoking without proof “Massive electoral fraud”, hundreds of his supporters had stormed the seat of Congress, when elected officials certified the victory of Democrat Joe Biden in the presidential election.
The civil complaint concerns “To discourage future acts of violence” and to compensate victims, including police officers, the attorney general of the American capital, Karl Racine, told a press conference. He said hope “Inflict the greatest possible financial penalty” to these two extremist organizations: “If we could bankrupt them, it would be a great day …”
Over 25 million victims of Charlottesville
This civil complaint process is based on a law enacted in 1871 to protect the rights of blacks after the abolition, in 1865, of slavery, in particular against extremist groups such as the Ku Klux Klan.
In the 1980s and 1990s, complaints lodged in this context by anti-racist activists brought several extremist organizations to their knees, forced to cede their property to pay the compensation set by the courts.
In November, American far-right figures and organizations were ordered to pay more than $ 25 million to victims of a protest they organized in 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, which had turned into drama.
A first for a local government
In February, Congressman Democrat Bennie Thompson had already filed a civil lawsuit against the Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers, as well as against former President Donald Trump and his lawyer Rudy Giuliani for their role in the attack on the January 6 against the seat of Congress. Corn “This is the first time that a local government” is trying to obtain redress, said Karl Racine. “It is a question of withdrawing its means to hatred”, he said.
According to his complaint, “The January 6 attack was a coordinated act of internal terrorism” and the city of Washington then found itself obliged “To manage the consequences” of this coup: it notably caused significant medical costs for the police officers of the city injured in the clashes.
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Assault on the Capitol: the city of Washington files a complaint against far-right groups