UPDATED: 2019/02/20 5:00PM
Attorneys for Nick Sandmann, a Kentucky high school student who found himself at the center of a huge viral video controversy last month, are suing The Washington Post and seeking $250 million in damages.
Sandmann, a student at Covington Catholic High School was in DC for a March for Life rally, donning a Make America Great Again hat when he had an encounter with Omaha tribe elder Nathan Phillips, who was also in DC, chanting and playing the drum at the Indigenous Peoples March.
The initial video caught the attention of the internet and went viral, accusing Sandmann of being disrespectful and racist until a second video, posted days later, provide more context for the encounter. In the second video, a group of black men who identify as Hebrew Israelites, taunt the students and the participants of the Indigenous Peoples Rally.
Sandmann’s attorneys, Lin Wood and Todd McMurtry filed a lawsuit on behalf of the young man for “compensatory and punitive damages” adding, “This is only the beginning.”
The lawsuit claims that 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.” It also accuses the paper of being a participant 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 Sandmann, an innocent secondary school child.”
For their part, the Post is planning “to mount a vigorous defense.”
President Trump tweeted a quote from the lawsuit adding, “Go get them Nick. Fake News!”