A week after a Kentucky diocese found that Catholic school boys didn’t instigate a confrontation at the Lincoln Memorial that went viral on social media, a student has filed a lawsuit against the Washington Post.
Nicholas Sandmann, 16, is seeking $250 million and claims that the Post “wrongfully targeted and bullied” the teen “to advance its well-known and easily documented, biased agenda against President Donald J. Trump.”
The students were in Washington for an anti-abortion rally last month when they encountered a group of black street preachers who were shouting insults at both them and a group of Native Americans.
Covington Bishop Roger Foys initially condemned the students' behavior after a video showed a teenage boy face-to-face with a Native American man. Days later, Foys apologized for "making a statement prematurely."
The bishop now says the students “were placed in a situation that was at once bizarre and even threatening.”
“The immediate world-wide reaction to the initial video led almost everyone to believe that our students had initiated the incident and the perception of those few minutes of video became reality,” Foys wrote this week in a letter to parents.
The videos show Phillips surrounded by students. Many interviewed students told investigators that they felt Phillips was coming into their group to join their own cheers, which were meant to drown out insults from the street preachers, who referred to themselves as the Black Hebrew Israelites. Many students reported that they were confused but did not feel threatened by Phillips, the report said.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.