Former President Donald Trump has taken fire after reports that protesters were tear-gassed to make way for Trump to take a picture at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C.
However, long after the election was over, new information came out debunking many of these criticisms of Trump. And now, a judge has ruled against Black Lives Matter protesters that sued Trump over the controversy saying the claims were “too speculative.”
U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich ruled this week against protesters seeking damages after Lafayette Park was cleared in the wake of protests and rioting in the city.
“The plaintiffs’ claims of impending future harm are too speculative to confer standing to seek an injunction,” Friedrich wrote in the ruling. “Such harm would require that plaintiffs again demonstrate in Lafayette Square; that agencies headed by the official-capacity defendants again respond to the demonstration; that federal officers again use that law enforcement response as cover to deliberately target non-violent peaceful demonstrators; and that one or more of the plaintiffs again be targeted. This hypothetical chain of events is simply too speculative to confer standing for injunctive relief.”
Opponents of the ruling lashed out after it was issued.
“Today’s ruling essentially gives the federal government a green light to use violence, including lethal force against demonstrators, as long as federal officials claim to be protecting national security,” said Scott Michelman, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s DC branch. “Not only is this decision a stunning rejection of our constitutional values and protesters’ First Amendment rights, but it effectively places federal officials above the law.”
Trump’s name has now been cleared on this issue, but it has happened long after the negative impact on his electoral hopes. Like so many issues, Trump has been proved right too late.