Nick Sandmann, the Covington Catholic High School teen recorded in a tense confrontation with a Native American activist last month, is filed a $250 million lawsuit against The Washington Post alleging defamation.
The law firm Hemmer DeFrank Wessels announced Tuesday that lawyers on behalf of Sandmann have filed a suit seeking "compensatory and punitive damages."
"This is only the beginning," the firm said.
The lawsuit says The Post "wrongfully targeted and bullied Nicholas because he was the white, Catholic student wearing a red 'Make America Great Again' souvenir cap on a school field trip to the January 18 March for Life in Washington, D.C."
The suit accuses the Post of 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."
Post spokeswoman Kristine Coratti Kelly told Reuters the outlet is “reviewing a copy of the lawsuit, and we plan to mount a vigorous defense.”
Views on controversial video split:
“On January 18, videos surfaced online showing Sandmann staring at Nathan Phillips, a Native American elder, as Phillips sang and played the drum at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC,” Vox reported. “The two were surrounded by Sandmann’s classmates, many of whom were wearing MAGA hats (as was Sandmann), chanting, and jumping. They had attended the anti-abortion March for Life rally earlier that day.”
“The initial narrative was that the boys were harassing Phillips, but more layers were later added to the story: Longer videos emerged showing a few members of the Black Hebrew Israelites taunting the students, and Phillips says he stepped in to try to defuse the tension,” the report added.
“The left, which sees white supremacy as one of its fundamental enemies, was quick — in some cases, too quick — to identify Sandmann and his classmates as villains,” wrote Vox’s Zach Beauchamp. “The right’s reaction, in turn, revealed several of its core animating assumptions that white Christians are persecuted minorities, that overzealous social justice warriors represent an existential threat to a free society, and that the media is on their enemies’ sides. This led them to be credulous — in some cases, too credulous — of the boys wearing MAGA hats.”