Washington Post, Nicholas Sandmann Attorneys to Appear in Covington Courtroom
The Washington Post seeks to have a federal judge dismiss the $250 million lawsuit filed against it by attorneys representing Nicholas Sandmann, the Covington Catholic High School student who became the face of a series of incidents that took place on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in January.
A short video circulated widely on social media showing Sandmann standing closely to a Native American man later identified as Nathan Phillips, who was playing a ceremonial drum. Other Cov Cath students were seen encircling Sandmann and Phillips, jumping around enthusiastically.
The video was characterized originally as showing Cov Cath students interrupting Phillips' ceremonial performance, and attempting to intimidate him. Sandmann in particular was criticized online for standing so close to Phillips and appearing to smirk.
Later, more videos that were longer and showed a different view of the controversial encounter painted a different picture.
Cov Cath students engaged in a back-and-forth with a small group of Black Hebrew Israelite protesters who were antagonizing many different groups of people on the Mall. After a lengthy back-and-forth, the Cov Cath students began to perform their well-known school chants. That is when Phillips approached the students, banging his drum.
The early reporting on the story was heavily criticized in light of the new information that challenged the original perception.
Nicholas Sandmann became the target of many national stories, not to mention online criticism, and his family later hired well-known attorney L. Lin Wood who is working with local attorney Todd McMurtry in seeking damages from national media outlets.
A $250 million lawsuit against The Washington Post sees a courtroom on Monday.
Attorneys for both sides will appear before Judge William Bertelsman in U.S. District Court in Covington at 1 p.m. where each side will have thirty minutes to make their case for or against dismissal of the suit.
Sandmann has also sued NBC and CNN for $275 million each. CNN has also filed to dismiss the suit it faces.
-Michael Monks, editor & publisher