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Sandmann Announces Settlement with Washington Post

Recent Covington Catholic graduate Nicholas Sandmann said on Twitter Friday morning that he has reached a settlement with The Washington Post, which he sued over the paper's coverage of a January 2019 encounter on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Sandmann's tweet referenced "two down" and "six to go". He sued eight media outlets for their coverage of the event and in January of this year, nearly a year after the encounter, Sandmann reached a settlement with CNN.

The settlement amount from either case was not made public, though Sandmann was suing the Post for $250 million.

Sandmann thanked his attorneys L. Lin Wood, and locally-based Todd McMurtry, in another tweet.

As previously reported by The River City News, the suits arose from an event on the National Mall in January of 2019. Sandmann was with other Covington Catholic students in the nation's capital to attend the annual March for Life, an anti-abortion demonstration, and while those students were spending their final hours in D.C., some became engaged in a back-and-forth with a group of Black Hebrew Israelites who had been antagonizing them with racist and homophobic slurs.

The students responded, as seen in videos that circulated on social media from the event, by performing the Colonels' well-known school chants.

During one chant performance, a Native American activist, Nathan Phillips, who had been in D.C. for the Indigenous Peoples March, which also happened that day, approached the Covington Catholic students while playing a drum and chanting.

The initial images that were distributed from the scene that day appeared to indicate that Sandmann stood in the way of Phillips, preventing him from moving forward. Early on, there was no mention of the Black Hebrew Israelites' presence or involvement.

Media characterization of the event suggested that Sandmann and Cov Cath students acted improperly, alleging that they surrounded Phillips and that Sandmann in particular had been antagonistic by refusing to move from Phillips's path. 

Additional videos emerged not only to show the involvement and instigation by the Black Hebrew Israelites but also that Phillips was the one who approached the students. Some videos also showed Sandmann appearing to quiet his fellow students so as to be respectful to Phillips.

Phillips went on to do interviews, portraying himself as a victim in the infamous encounter.

Sandmann also sued The Washington Post and CNN, as well as ABC, CBS, NBC, Gannett (owner of USA Today and The Cincinnati Enquirer), Rolling Stone magazine, and The New York Times.

-Staff report

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