Most claims thrown out by judge in Trump Bible photo op case

Plaintiffs claimed that the Trump administration and police had conspired to violate their civil rights when they were cleared from a park.

Dan Verbin ,

US President Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump
Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

A US federal court has thrown out most of the claims by activists and civil liberties organizations who alleged that their civil rights were violated when they were cleared from Lafayette Square by Washington DC police before then-president Donald Trump walked to nearby St John’s Church Parish House for a photo op with a Bible.

US District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich stated on Monday that the claims brought forth in the case accusing then-Attorney General William Barr of conspiring to violate the rights of the protestors in the June 1, 2020 incident were speculation.

He further ruled that it was too early for the court to make a judgement on the actions of police in the incident.

He dismissed the claims against Barr and other federal officials, citing insufficient evidence to prove the complainants’ case, and that there was no evidence of a plan in place to violate the civil rights of the protestors when they were removed from the park.

The judge did allow the claims against the Metropolitan Police Department and the Arlington Police Department, whose officers were involved in the incident, to go forward.

The lawsuit revolves around the events that transpired when protestors were removed from the park. Law enforcement used tear gas and other riot control methods to force protestors from Lafayette Square, a seven-acre public park directly north of the White House.

Once the protestors has been cleared, Trump walked to Ashburton House, which had been damaged by a fire during protests the night before. He held up a Bible, posing for a photo in front of the parish building.