The Covington Catholic School student at the center of a controversial incident with Native American activist Nathan Phillips filed a lawsuit against The Washington Post.
On Tuesday, lawyers Lin Wood and Todd McMurty filed a lawsuit on behalf of Nicholas Sandmann asking for punitive damages of no less than $200 million, and nothing less than $50 million for substantial compensatory damages.
An incident between Nicholas Sandmann and Nathan Phillips went viral recently. It got covered by a variety of major news outlets and caused great controversy.
Nicholas Sandmann and Nathan Phillips on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on January 18, 2019. | Photo: YouTube/ Fox News
According to the lawsuit, coverage by The Washington Post “wrongfully targeted and bullied” the high school student “because he was the white, Catholic student wearing a red ‘Make America Great Again’ cap" he received during the school’s trip to Washington.
The publication also reported that the group of students “surrounded” and “taunted” the 64-year-old Native American army vet on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on January 18.
The part of the incident that initially went viral showed Nicholas standing his ground and smiling at Nathan Phillips who stood face to face with him while he chanted and played his drum.
Later on, extensive video material became available showing that the students suffered harassment from a group of Black Hebrew Israelites shortly before Nathan Phillips walked into the group of boys unprovoked, and walked right up to Nicholas.
A private investigation followed and found no evidence of any wrongdoing on Nicholas’s part, nor that of the other students.
Nathan Phillips claimed in an interview afterward that the boys shouted, “Build that Wall” but the investigation found no evidence of that. Multiple attempts to reach Nathan for comments were unsuccessful.
One of Sandmann’s lawyers, Lin Wood, said in a statement that similar lawsuits against other parties involved are soon to follow, while the publication gears up for the lawsuit. Kristine Coratti Kelly, The Washington Post’s Vice President for Communications, said:
“We are reviewing a copy of the lawsuit, and we plan to mount a vigorous defense.”
Over recent days, many public officials and others spoke up for Nicholas Sandmann, one advocate of Nicholas is Republican Thomas Massie who tweeted:
“The honorable and tolerant students of Covington Catholic School came to DC to advocate for the unborn and to learn about our nation’s capital. What they got was a brutal lesson in the unjust court of public opinion and social media mobs.”
Massie also added that parents and mentors of these children should be proud of how they conducted themselves even in the face of horrible unfounded allegations and a perception created by the media.
Shortly after the incident, Nicholas had an exclusive interview with Savannah Guthrie from the "Today Show" where the 16-year-old high school pupil told his side of the story. But by then media already crucified the youngster for instigating a racist face-off.