After the Sandy Hook shooting on Dec. 14, 2012, many had nightmares for months. After this incident, “20 first graders and 6 school employees” were murdered. After this, schools across the country began conducting school shooting drills—ones where an alarm goes off, you turn all of your devices off and hide in a predetermined section of the classroom that should provide the most protection. Additionally, chairs would be placed in front of the door, and dark pieces of either paper or cloth would be placed over any windows where the shooter may see the students.
It is a sad reality that everyone reading this probably knows.
Despite what took place in the quiet town in Connecticut, there were people who didn’t believe this massacre even took place. One such person was Alex Jones. The CEO of Infowars, a far-right radio show, he has spent numerous years spreading defamatory claims about the Sandy Hook massacre being staged. One of which is that the shooting was staged by the government to eliminate the right to bear arms. When the families of the victims took him to court, he is said to have withheld evidence that would prove his guilt. Such evidence may include the financials for his company that would illustrate how, by spreading these outrageous claims, he was most likely doing so to garner attention for his website and thus, benefit financially.
It is important to note that while his opinions are not illegal, he is being investigated for withholding the evidence the families and their lawyers asked for over numerous years. Thankfully, two different judges have ruled him at fault and the hope is that he will pay penance to the families he has harmed. Judge Barbara Bellis released in a statement that the “failure to produce critical material information that the plaintiffs needed to prove their claims” is why she ruled against Jones in the defamation lawsuit.
Chris Mattei, the lawyer for the families suing Alex Jones have said this is not a case about reparations, rather, it is one about accountability. The next step is for a hearing to be held on how Jones will be held accountable. However, it may not be conducted by the same judge because the team supporting Jones have alleged that Bellis has not been impartial and have asked that she be removed from the case.
One of them being Lenny Pozner,whose young son Noah was one of the innocent victims that day. Following Jones’ outrageous claims, Pozner and his family have lived in hiding from the conspiracy theorists who still believe the massacre was a hoax. Without the privacy to grieve in peace, Pozner has founded an NGO to help families like his own. The HONR network works to “raise awareness about harassment and defamation from hoaxers and conspiracy theorists, and to take them to court on behalf of victims of high-profile tragedies.”
Jones has spoken out on his platform that he has been “denied a trial by jury” because he is a self-proclaimed “populist”. Addressing all of America directly, he claims that all of their “rights are being sacrificed on the altar of political correctness.” But back to the question at hand: did he deliberately withhold documents in the defamation cases? He claims he didn’t. Instead, his side of the story is that he turned over all of the financials for his company when the prosecution only asked for the financials from Dec. 14, 2012 onward. He states that only sending sections of it is impossible, and consulted numerous accountants to determine the validity of it.
Overall, the case against Alex Jones is not over, but progress is being made.