The Kentucky teenage family involved in a meeting with a Native American lawyer at the Lincoln Memorial last month filed a defamation suit against the Washington Post on Tuesday, claiming $ 250 million in damages for its coverage of the property. # 39; incident.
The lawsuit alleges that Nicholas Sandmann, 16, was "targeted and intimidated" in order to embarrass President Trump. Sandmann was one of Covington Catholic High School students in Kentucky who wore a red cap "Make America Great Again" on a trip to the mall where they met Nathan Phillips, a Native American activist.
Reports, including in The Post, and videos of their meeting sparked a heated national debate about the participants' behavior.
"In the space of three days, in January of this year, starting January 19, the Post embarked on a modern form of McCarthyism by competing with CNN and NBC, among others, to claim the leadership of a crowd of bullies on social media and social media. who attacked, vilified and threatened Nicholas Sandmann, an innocent child of high school, " read the complaint.
"La Poste ignored journalists' basic standards because it wanted to advance its well-known, biased and biased program against President Donald J. Trump by attacking individuals considered supporters of the president."
Sandmann's parents, Ted and Julie, filed a lawsuit on behalf of Nicholas in the Covington US District Court. He is asking for $ 250 million because the general manager of Amazon, Jeffrey P. Bezos, paid this sum for the newspaper when he bought it in 2013.
The lengthy complaint, which had the names of five lawyers from two law firms, alleged seven "fake and defamatory" articles published online or printed by The Post. She also cited tweets sent by The Post to promote her stories.
Sandmann's lead counsel is L. Lin Wood, who represented Richard Jewell, the security guard who was wrongly accused of bombing Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta in 1996. He also represented John and Patsy Ramsey in a lawsuit. for defamation against media-related reports about the death of their young daughter, JonBenet.
The spokeswoman for the Post, Kristine Coratti Kelly, said in response to the complaint: "We are reviewing a copy of the complaint and we plan to put up a vigorous defense."
According to the allegations of the lawsuit, Nicholas Sandmann and his classmates were waiting for a bus at the Lincoln Memorial after attending the March for Life rally on the mall when a group of African-American men who were there called Hebrew Israelites began to shout racial epithets them. The group of high school students has started a series of sports songs at school, according to the complaint.
Phillips, an American activist who described himself and who was in the mall that day for the March of Indigenous Peoples, said he was heading to the Lincoln Memorial when he was on his way to the Lincoln Memorial. he met the Covington group. He was singing and hitting a small drum when he found himself face to face with Sandmann.
The Sandmann suit claims that the paper "intimidated" Sandmann in his article "because he was a white Catholic student wearing a" Make America Great Again "souvenir cap."
He calls Phillips "a bogus war hero [who] was too intimidated by the undisciplined Hebrew Israelites to approach them, the true troublemakers, and instead chose to focus on a group of innocent children. "
He added that The Post "has not conducted an appropriate investigation before publishing its false and defamatory statements about and concerning Nicholas".
He also accused The Post of ignoring online videos that gave a more complete picture of the incident and using "unreliable and biased sources", thus acting with "knowledge of falseness or reckless disregard for the truth". A plaintiff must demonstrate acted with "reckless disregard" to support a defamation action.