University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Black Lives Matter D.C. v. Trump PN-DC-0014
Docket / Court 1:20-cv-01469 ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Policing
Special Collection Litigation Against Federal Police (2020)
Police Violence Protests (Spring/Summer 2020)
Attorney Organization ACLU Affiliates (any)
Washington Lawyers' Committee
Case Summary
Black Lives Matter - D.C. and several individual protestors brought this lawsuit on June 4, 2020 in the U.S. District Court for the District of D.C. in response to President Trump's use of military police to disperse peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square Park on June 1st, 2020. Protesters had ... read more >
Black Lives Matter - D.C. and several individual protestors brought this lawsuit on June 4, 2020 in the U.S. District Court for the District of D.C. in response to President Trump's use of military police to disperse peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square Park on June 1st, 2020. Protesters had gathered as part of the nationwide outcry following the police killing of George Floyd. Around 6:30 in the evening, following an order to clear the square from Attorney General Barr, military and federal police forces used tear gas, pepper spray capsules, rubber bullets, and flash bombs to disperse the protesters in order to clear the path for President Trump to walk to nearby St. John's Church for a photo-op.

Plaintiffs were represented by attorneys from Washington Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, ACLU D.C., Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law, and private counsel. Named defendants included President Donald Trump, Attorney General William Barr, and Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, as well as the heads of several military and law enforcement agencies. The plaintiffs also sued unnamed officers, members, and agents of the U.S. Park Police, the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Armed Forces, the Arlington County Police Department, and other federal and non-federal law enforcement agencies. The complaint alleged violations of the First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, 42 U.S.C. 1985(3) (conspiracy to deprive rights), and 42 U.S.C. 1986 (failure to prevent conspiracy to deprive rights). Plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief; compensatory and punitive damages, including damages for pain and suffering; and attorney's fees.

The case was assigned to Judge Dabney L. Friedrich. On June 9, 2020, plaintiffs filed an amended complaint that sought class certification, added an individual plaintiff, and added Michael Carvajal (Director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons) as a defendant. The plaintiffs brought the action on behalf of themselves and two classes of an individuals: 1) an injunctive relief class and 2) a personal injury class.

A second amended complaint was filed two months later. This amended complaint added two individual plaintiffs. It also removed General James McConville, Chief of Staff of the United States Army, as a defendant and added the Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia and unnamed Metropolitan Police Department officers. It also added First and Fourth Amendments claims under 42 U.S.C. 1983.

On August 19th, 2020, Judge Friedrich ordered the parties in this case and Buchanan v. Trump to propose a consolidated briefing schedule or to explain why briefing should not be consolidated given the similar factual and legal questions in each case. The following day, the plaintiffs filed a motion for class certification.

The plaintiffs filed a third amended complaint on September 3rd, identifying a number of individual law enforcement officers as defendants. In the following months, the defendants filed a number of motions to dismiss. As of April 21, 2021, the court has yet to issue decisions on any of the motions to dismiss and the lawsuit remains pending.

Jack Hibbard - 08/04/2020
Rachel Harrington - 04/21/2021


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Freedom of speech/association
Unreasonable search and seizure
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
General
Excessive force
Failure to supervise
Failure to train
Pepper/OC spray
Personal injury
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983
42 U.S.C. § 1985
Defendant(s) Acting Chief of U.S. Park Police
Attorney General William Barr
Chief of Staff James McConville
Director James Murray
Mark Esper
President Donald Trump
Plaintiff Description Plaintiffs are participants in the Washington D.C. protest in Lafayette Square Park on June 1st, 2020. They sought class certification, but that has not been granted as of this writing (April 21, 2021).
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Affiliates (any)
Washington Lawyers' Committee
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status outcome Pending
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Filed 06/04/2020
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing PN-DC-0015 : Buchanan v. Trump (D.D.C.)
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
  Black Lives Matter .C. v. Trump - Challenging Federal Officers' Unprovoked Attack on Civil Rights Demonstrators at Lafayette Square in Front of the White House
ACLU of DC
Date: May 28, 2021
By: ACLU District of Columbia
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Black Lives Matter D.C. v. Trump - Challenging Federal Officers' Unprovoked Attack on Civil Rights Demonstrators at Lafayette Square in Front of the White House
ACLU of DC
Date: Jun. 4, 2020
By: ACLU of DC
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Court Docket(s)
D.D.C.
03/23/2021
1:20-cv-01469-DLF
PN-DC-0014-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
D.D.C.
06/04/2020
Complaint [ECF# 1]
PN-DC-0014-0001.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
06/09/2020
First Amended Class Action Complaint [ECF# 11]
PN-DC-0014-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
D.D.C.
09/03/2020
Third Amended Class Action Complaint [ECF# 52]
PN-DC-0014-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Friedrich, Dabney Langhorne (D.D.C.) show/hide docs
PN-DC-0014-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Ago, Arthur (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PN-DC-0014-0001 | PN-DC-0014-0002 | PN-DC-0014-0003
Banner, Kaitlin Rose (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Baron, Noah (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Brody, David (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PN-DC-0014-0001 | PN-DC-0014-0002 | PN-DC-0014-0003 | PN-DC-0014-9000
Brown, Tristin (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Corkery, Dennis A. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Gordon, Arusha (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Greenbaum, Jon M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Kouba, David E (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Lieberman, Hannah E. M. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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McSorley, Thomas Dallas (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Michelman, Scott (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Perloff, Michael Krevans (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Smith, Johnathan James (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Tabriz, Sonia (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Defendant's Lawyers Barr, William P. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Blackman, Duane Gordon (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Corr, MinhChau Nguyen (Virginia) show/hide docs
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Crowley, Daniel S (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Cutler, David G. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Gonzalez, Joseph A. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Hair, Christopher Charles (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Heath, Brendan Russell (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Mahard, Sean Patrick (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Martin, John BlairFishwick (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Samuel, Ryan Carson (Virginia) show/hide docs
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Sobiecki, Richard P. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Zampogna, Christopher A (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Other Lawyers Brown, Bruce D (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Freedman, John A. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Gramont, Alexandre de (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Hunt, Hyland (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Klein, Eric Lawrence (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
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Rottman, Gabriel (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Spitzer, Arthur (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Spiva, Bruce V. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
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Townsend, KatieLynn (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
PN-DC-0014-9000

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