Why are Sandy Hook parents suing InfoWars media conspiracy theorist Alex Jones?
The trial of Alex Jones, brought by the families of the Sandy Hook massacre victims will begin in Austin, Texas this week.
The trial of Alex Jones, the owner of the far right fake news site, InfoWars, will begin in Austin, Texas this week.
The defamation case against Jones is being brought by families of the Sandy Hook Massacre victims who accuse him of spreading conspiracy theories around the deaths of the children and teachers who died that day.
Jones’ extremist and vial rhetoric, which include referring to the event as a “hoax” are all a part of the reason that the case was brought forward. The language used by Jones subjected the families to both in-person and harassment, as many of Jones’ fans began not to believe their story after hearing conspiracies on from him and others.
How much are the families seeking?
The lawyers have not provided an amount that the families will seek, but during jury selection, they alluded to a possible sum reaching over $100 million. Jury selection was finalized on Monday and today the group selected will hear opening statements from the prosecution and defense.
One of the attorney’s representing the families, Mark Bankston, said that they were happy their day in court had finally arrived and that his team was “looking forward to telling our clients’ story.” The parents will also be able to tell there own stories are many plan to testify duirng the trial.
What prompted the case?
In 2014, Alex Jones, from his show on InfoWars began spreading misinformation, calling the attack on the elementary school a hoax and false flag operation by gun control activists.
Jones said that “no one died” during the attack in December 2012 which tragically ended in the deaths of twenty students and six staff members. He also alleged that the children were paid crisis actors who were told to play dead in front of the cameras.
In 2019, after being sued the year before by a group of parents who lost their children, Jones changed his tune and said that the massacre was real. However, at that point, the damage had been done and the parents had no plans to let up on their pursuit to see Jones held accountable for his dangerous and inflammatory language. During the deposition, Jones claimed that his comments were a result of “a form of psychosis” that led him to believe that “basically [..] everything was staged.”
In 2021 when the 2018 suit went to trial, Jones did not try to provide any evidence that his claims were true and only time will tell if he takes the same strategy in the case starting this week. The parents won that case, which has prompted the case from additional families set to begin this week. Those impacted by the fake news spread by Jones are expected to testify to the impact Jones’ words had on their lives and the additional pain and sorrow brought on by his rhetoric.
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