Jun 21, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Trump, Barr can't be held liable in Lafayette Park protesters' lawsuits, judge rules

Police watch inside Lafayette Square near the White House in Washington, DC on June 1, 2020

Police watch inside Lafayette Square near the White House in Washington, DC on June 1, 2020, before clearing the park. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP via Getty Images

A federal judge on Monday dismissed four consolidated lawsuits brought by Black Lives Matter demonstrators against former President Trump and his top administration officials over law enforcement's clearing of protesters from Lafayette Park last year, Politico reports.

The state of play: In the aftermath of their forcible clearing from the park, the protesters sued then-President Trump and other top administration officials, including then-Attorney General Bill Barr, as well as local police forces in Washington, D.C., and Arlington, Va.

  • U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich ruled in favor of allowing the claims against local police officers to proceed but dismissed all but one against the administration officials, Buzzfeed reports.
  • Friedrich wrote that the plaintiffs hadn't demonstrated enough evidence that "there was a conspiracy among Trump, Barr, and other federal officials to violate" protesters' rights, notes Buzzfeed.
  • Friedrich also denied an injunction request to ban "similar uses of force against protesters in the future," per Politico.

What they're saying: “The plaintiffs’ claims of impending future harm are too speculative to confer standing to seek an injunction,” Friedrich wrote in the decision.

Go deeper: Watchdog: Police did not clear Lafayette Park last year for Trump photo-op.

Go deeper