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Inauguration Day Lawsuit Filed by Lawyers and Journalists Against Police for Excessive Force and Unlawful Arrest

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Inauguration Day Lawsuit Filed by Lawyers and Journalists Against Police for Excessive Force and Unlawful Arrest

A Colorado lawyer is name plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit that claims police used excessive force against a group of legal observers, lawyers, journalists, medics and peaceful protesters during the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

The suit (PDF), filed on Inauguration Day, claims police surrounded the group “without warning and without any dispersal order.” Then the police “proceeded to indiscriminately and repeatedly deploy chemical irritants, attack the individuals with batons, and throw flash-bang grenades at the kettled individuals,” the suit says.

“None of the plaintiffs who are members of this class destroyed or attempted to destroy property, assaulted or attempted to assault any individuals, rioted, or in any way would have appeared to the police to have been breaking the law” when they were arrested, the suit says. “Further, many of the members of the class were peacefully protesting.”

Members of the group were not involved in criminal conduct, and there was no probable cause for their arrests, the suit says. Politico, the National Law Journal (sub. req.) and the Washington Post are among the publications that covered the suit.

Name plaintiff in the suit is Colorado criminal defense lawyer Benjamin Christopher Carraway, a National Lawyers Guild volunteer who was providing legal support for protesters.

The suit does not name other plaintiffs who were arrested by police. But at least six journalists covering the protests have been charged with felony rioting, the New York Times reports. According to the Guardian, two of the journalists arrested were standing around 12th and L streets at the time. That is the location where Carraway says police rounded up and wrongly arrested a group of people, including himself.

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