It’s been over a month since Covington Catholic High School first made headlines following a showdown between students and Native American activists in Washington, D.C. Now, the family of the student at the center of it all has filed a lawsuit against the Washington Post for $250M claiming defamation.
As reported by WaPo, attorneys for 16-year-old Nick Sandmann allege that the newspaper went after the teen to embarrass Donald Trump. Sandermann and his classmates were seen on video wearing “Make America Great Again” hats, a slogan made popular during Trump’s 2016 bid for President.
“In a span of three days in January of this year commencing on January 19, the Post engaged in a modern-day form of McCarthyism by competing with CNN and NBC, among others, to claim leadership of a mainstream and social media mob of bullies which attacked, vilified, and threatened Nicholas Sandmann, an innocent secondary school child,” read the complaint that was filed in the United States District Court in Covington, Kentucky.
The statement goes on to say, “The Post ignored basic journalist standards because it wanted to advance its well-known and easily documented, biased agenda against President Donald J. Trump by impugning individuals perceived to be supporters of the President.”
The suit was filed by the parents of Sandmann in the amount specified because it is “the amount Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest person, paid in cash for the Post when his company, Nash Holdings, purchased the newspaper in 2013.”
Sandermann and classmates have received both scrutiny and praise following the viral video that led many to label the teens “racists.” A shorter clip which was first posted on Twitter showed a defiant Sandermann going face to face with a Native American elder.
A day after that moment was widely spread on social media, a longer video showed that there was a third group that converged at the time of the showdown. A number of Hebrew Israelites were also present and attempting to interact with the students. Attorneys for Sandmann say that the students were simply chanting in response to the “racial epithets” that were being yelled at them. School officials and parents deny that the student’s actions had anything to do with race.