The Washington Publish settled a defamation lawsuit with Nick Sandmann in March for controversy over life
The Washington Post has settled a defamation lawsuit against Nick Sandmann, a student at Covington Catholic High School after the March for Life 2019 that was at the center of a national controversy.
The terms of the comparison have not been announced. In February 2019, Sandmann and his lawyers filed a defamation lawsuit requesting $ 250 million. This was the price Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos paid for buying the newspaper in 2013.
In a statement posted on Twitter on July 24, Sandmann thanked his lawyers, his family, and "millions of you who have asserted yourself with my support". He added that he "has more to do".
In January 2020, Sandmann settled a defamation lawsuit against CNN. The terms of this comparison have not been announced. Six defamation lawsuits are pending against other media companies, including the New York Times, ABC, NBC and CBS.
The lawsuit alleged that the Washington Post "entered into a modern form of McCarthyism by competing with CNN and NBC, among others, to claim the leadership of a mainstream and social media mob by bullies, Nicholas Sandmann attacks, slandered and threatened ". Sandmann demanded "damages and punitive damages".
The lawsuits came from a short video that was posted on Twitter in January 2019. This video appeared to show Sandmann wearing a Make America Great Again hat, standing in the immediate vicinity of Indian activist Nathan Phillips and grinning while Phillips sang and played a ceremonial drum.
Phillips was in Washington, DC for the March of the Indigenous Peoples, and the incident occurred near the Lincoln Memorial after the March for Life that Sandmann had attended. Phillips told the media that the students had swarmed around him and sang repeatedly: "Build the Wall" or "Build the Wall".
The video quickly went viral and many demanded the suspension or expulsion of Sandmann and his classmates as punishment for their apparently disrespectful behavior. Sandmann later explained that he had smiled in order not to turn out to be threatening.
During the course of the weekend, however, an additional video was discovered that showed a far more differentiated context for the encounter between Phillips and Sandmann.
The new footage showed that Sandmann and his classmates had been harassed by members of the Black-Hebrew Israelites and began chanting their chants in the student department to drown out the Black-Hebrew Israelites. The students denied singing "building the wall," and this song was not heard on various videos of the incident.
In addition, the expanded video showed that Phillips had wandered into the crowd of Catholic students at Covington High School – not the other way around – and had started beating Sandmann in the face.
A third-party investigation of Catholic students in Covington concluded that they had not instigated the encounter and that there was no evidence that they were abusive or racist.
Both Covington Catholic High School and Bishop Roger Foys of Covington apologized for their early statements condemning Sandmann's behavior.