Covington Catholic student files suit against Washington Post

Nicholas Sandmann

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The goal of the lawsuit against the Post, the lawsuit says, is "to seek legal redress for its negligent, reckless, and malicious attacks on Nicholas which caused permanent damage to his life and reputation".

Nick Sandmann's lawsuit against the newspaper seeks $250 million in compensatory and punitive damages. The Post was the first to circulate the video outside social media, they believe, but Wood and partner Todd McMurtry sent a letter to 54 media outlets, celebrities, lawmakers, and church entities warning them of future legal action as well.

In an early morning tweet Wednesday, Trump threw his support behind Sandmann, writing: "Covington student suing WAPO".

"Nicholas stood quietly and respectfully for several minutes after being targeted and bullied by Phillips and Nicholas' body language remained non-aggressive and passive throughout the incident", the lawsuit says.

The Diocese of Covington commissioned a third party to investigate what happened, but a report released last week said it found no evidence that students made offensive or racist comments. It also alleges that the Post "contributed to the rampant cyber-assault and cyber-bullying" that was aimed at Sandmann after the story drew national attention.

Sandmann's parents filed the lawsuit against The Washington Post for a sum of $250 million, saying that the paper intentionally ignored basic journalistic practices in its reporting on a viral confrontation between their son and Native American activist Nathan Phillips.

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But longer videos of the incident showed Mr Philips and a small group with him had intervened to place themselves between the students and a street preacher from the Black Israelites, who was abusing the students through a megaphone. He was chanting and beating a small drum when he came face to face with Sandmann.

The Washington Post's Vice President for Communications Kristine Coratti Kelly said: "We are reviewing a copy of the lawsuit and we plan to mount a vigorous defence".

The lawsuit says The Post "published to third parties without privilege no less than six false and defamatory articles of and concerning Nicholas, including two in its print newspaper and four online".

The lawsuit also claims that the Post "ignored the truth and falsely accused Nicholas of, among other things, 'accost [ing]' Phillips by 'suddenly swarm [ing]' him in a 'threaten [ing]' and 'physically intimidat [ing]' manner".

Sandmann, a junior at Covington Catholic High School, became a target for outrage after a video surfaced in January of him standing face-to-face with a Native American man, Nathan Phillips, while wearing a red "Make America Great Again" hat.

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