clear
Tuesday June 19th, 2018 2:34AM

Charlottesville car attack witness sues Alex Jones, others

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A former State Department official who became the target of harassment after posting a video showing the car attack during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville sued right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones and others Tuesday.

Brennan Gilmore, who attended the August rally as a counterprotester, witnessed the attack that killed Heather Heyer and injured dozens more. He posted a video to Twitter, which went viral, and was interviewed by national media outlets. Soon after, Jones, his website Infowars and the other defendants started spreading conspiracy theories about him, which led to threats against Gilmore and his family, the complaint alleged.

"Supporters of the alt-right and the 'Unite the Right rally,' including the defendants, created a new identity for Mr. Gilmore — the organizer and orchestrator of (accused driver James) Fields' attack and a traitor to the United States," the lawsuit said.

The defendants' lies about Gilmore "quickly mobilized their army of followers to launch a campaign of harassment and threats" that continue to this day, the lawsuit said.

Gilmore suffered from hate mail and death threats, hacking attempts and in-person harassment, the lawsuit said. Gilmore and his parents' known addresses were posted online, prompting local law enforcement to patrol his parents' home.

The lawsuit, which seeks a jury trial and damages to compensate Gilmore as well as punitive damages, was filed in federal court in Charlottesville. Georgetown Law's Civil Rights Clinic is representing Gilmore, who said in an interview with The Associated Press that he "absolutely" would not consider settling the suit and that any monetary damages are a secondary goal.

"There's no amount of money that would overcome the motivation of this case," which is to set a legal precedent to prevent the same thing from happening again, Gilmore said.

Gilmore said the defendants have spread misinformation time and again after high-profile tragedies, citing the recent Parkland, Florida, school shooting.

Infowars recently suggested that survivors of the shooting that left 17 people dead were coached on their pleas for gun control. Jones, who owns the site, has also called the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School a hoax and said the Sept. 11 attacks were an inside job.

The AP requested comment from Jones and received an emailed link to an approximately hour-long YouTube video of him addressing the suit. In the video, which included an extended scene from one of the "Lord of the Rings" movies, Jones called his detractors "cowards," ''slaves," and "little fallen twisted people looking for power."

The lawsuit, which alleges defamation and intentional infliction of emotion distress, also names six other individuals as defendants. Among them is former Florida congressman Allen B. West, who the lawsuit alleges published an article on his website with the headline, "BOMBSHELL: New Evidence Suggests Charlottesville Was a Complete SET-UP."

West didn't immediately respond to an inquiry from AP sent through his website.

Gilmore is a Virginia native who worked for years as a foreign service officer, a post from which he is currently on long-term unpaid leave, according to the lawsuit. Last year, he served as chief of staff for Virginia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Perriello.

Charlottesville became a target for white nationalists after its city council voted to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a downtown park.

After several smaller rallies, hundreds of white nationalists and counter-protesters converged in downtown Charlottesville on Aug. 12. Fighting broke out before the event officially began, and the brawling went on for about an hour until an unlawful assembly was declared and the crowd was forced to disband.

Later, as counterdemonstrators were peacefully marching through downtown, the car barreled into the crowd. Heyer, 32, was killed.

Fields, the driver, faces charges including first-degree murder.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Auto Racing, AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines
© Copyright 2018 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: Latest nor'easter reaches blizzard conditions
The National Weather Service had declared the latest winter storm to hit the Northeast a blizzard
12:09PM ( 3 minutes ago )
Charlottesville car attack witness sues Alex Jones, others
A former State Department official who became the target of harassment after posting a video showing the car attack during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville is suing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, Jones' website Infowars and others
12:04PM ( 7 minutes ago )
CBS says work needed on before Stormy Daniels interview airs
CBS News President David Rhodes says there's more journalistic work to be done before an interview with adult film star Stormy Daniels is aired
11:54AM ( 18 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Auriemma: Could coach UConn men, but no interest at age 63
UConn women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma says he could coach the school's men's basketball team but has not interest at age 63
10:01AM ( 2 hours ago )
Beer chug: Tom Brady beats Stephen Colbert in seconds flat
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady shows off beer-chugging skills on "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" and promotes new book
9:33AM ( 2 hours ago )
Denver Broncos going after free-agent fix at quarterback
The Denver Broncos are hoping to repeat the success they had with Peyton Manning in pursuing another free-agent fix at quarterback. ESPN reported Case Keenum plans to sign with the Broncos when free agency opens Wednesday.
8:49AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Sports
NASCAR: Harvick channels anger, races to 3rd straight win
Kevin Harvick knows how to get around ISM Raceway _ and channel his anger
7:13AM ( 1 day ago )
NASCAR: Harvick channel angers, races to 3rd straight win
Kevin Harvick knows how to get around ISM Raceway _ and channel his anger
2:24AM ( 1 day ago )
Kevin Harvick races to 3rd straight NASCAR Cup victory
Kevin Harvick raced to his third straight NASCAR Cup Series victory, holding off Kyle Busch for his record-extending ninth win at ISM Raceway
11:45PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Online Auto Racing
The Latest: Russian news channel could lose UK license
Britain's media regulator says Kremlin-backed news channel RT could lose its license to broadcast in the U.K. in the wake of the nerve agent attack on former spy Sergei Skripal
11:41AM ( 31 minutes ago )
AP: Military often fails young sex assault victims on bases
AP Investigation: Pentagon doesn't know extent of sex assault among juveniles on military bases, has no specific personnel or protocols to help young victims or offenders
11:41AM ( 31 minutes ago )
Protests to await Trump's visit to California border
Numerous demonstrations planned to mark Trump's first visit to California border as president
11:41AM ( 31 minutes ago )
AP National News
The Latest: Amtrak suspends service between Boston, NYC
Amtrak has suspended service between Boston and New York City as heavy snow pummels New England
10:36AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Eastern Long Island braces for latest nor'easter
Eastern Long Island is braced for the brunt of the latest storm in the New York City metropolitan area
8:54AM ( 3 hours ago )
The Latest: Light snow, violent winds lash Cape Cod
While snowfall was negligible on much of Cape Cod during the early hours of the latest storm to hit the Northeast, forecasters said the latest nor'easter could dump as much as 2 feet
8:22AM ( 3 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
The Latest: Latest nor'easter reaches blizzard conditions
The National Weather Service had declared the latest winter storm to hit the Northeast a blizzard
12:09PM ( 3 minutes ago )
The Latest: Trump says he, Tillerson 'disagreed'
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the Foreign Relations Committee chairman, says President Donald Trump's decision to fire his chief diplomat caught him by surprise
11:57AM ( 14 minutes ago )
CBS says work needed on before Stormy Daniels interview airs
CBS News President David Rhodes says there's more journalistic work to be done before an interview with adult film star Stormy Daniels is aired
11:54AM ( 18 minutes ago )
The Latest: UK: Russia must 'come clean' on chemical weapons
Britain's media regulator says Kremlin-backed news channel RT could lose its license to broadcast in the U.K. in the wake of the nerve agent attack on former spy Sergei Skripal
11:53AM ( 18 minutes ago )
Driver killed, Texas students hurt in Disney trip bus plunge
A bus carrying high school band members home to Texas from a trip to Disney World plunged into a ravine before dawn Tuesday in Alabama, killing the driver and injuring many passengers
11:52AM ( 19 minutes ago )