The President of the United States of America (USA) Donald Trump has been sued by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) over allegations that police on his order violated the civil rights of protesters who were forcefully removed from a park near the White House using chemical agents before Trump walked to a nearby church to take a photo.
The lawsuit, filed in federal court on Thursday, comes as Attorney General William Barr defended the decision to forcefully remove the peaceful protesters, saying it was necessary to protect officers and federal property.
The suit argues that Trump, Barr and other officials “unlawfully conspired to violate” the protesters’ rights when clearing Lafayette Park on Monday. Law enforcement officers aggressively forced the protesters back, firing smoke bombs and pepper balls into the crowd to disperse them from the park.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the group Black Lives Matter DC and individual protesters who were present. It is filed by the ACLU of DC, Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the law firm of Arnold & Porter.
This came after new autopsy reports revealed on Wednesday that George Floyd tested positive for COVID-19.
According to the Hennepin County Medical examiner, Floyd, 46, was asymptomatic, not an infectious carrier, but had the virus’ genetic code or RNA in his system which made it possible to detect.