Social Media Giants Sued for Aiding And Abetting Attack On Dallas Cops
January 23, 2017 (Fault Lines) — Since we all live in what our mean-ass editor has rightly called a “twisted universe,” where if I critique a lawsuit filed by a Dallas cop against a social media triumvirate for aiding and abetting domestic terrorism, I may be called an apologist* for those who terrorize and attack police officers.
So, I will first Gertrude about the obvious, so that the comments section may be kept (almost) free of unserious characters: I oppose attacks against police officers, including the cowardly July 7, 2016 ambush against Dallas police officers. There, now we can royally move on to the subject of the post. Quite the sign of the times, amigos.
Courthouse News reports on a federal lawsuit filed by Dallas Police Sergeant Demetrick Pennie against Facebook, Google, and Twitter alleging: (i) aiding and abetting terrorism; (ii) provision of material support for terrorism; (iii) conspiracy to commit terrorism; and (iv) negligent infliction of emotional distress. The terrorist groups referred to in Sergeant Pennie’s lawsuit are HAMAS and ISIS, who purportedly use all three defendants’ companies to spread vile propaganda, recruit new members, and fund terrorist operations.
Sergeant Pennie was not injured by the shooter Micah Xavier Johnson, who was later executed in the field by a robot carrying a C-4 explosive. Rather, he was a first responder who knew the fallen officers, hence the claim for emotional distress. The crux of the lawsuit appears on page 49, where the plaintiff claims that the defendants’ “material support” of HAMAS “has a direct connection to the July 9, 2016, Dallas police shootings and is a proximate cause”:
Micah Johnson was radicalized, in part, by reviewing postings of HAMAS and other terrorist groups on the internet and Defendants’ social media sites.
This is further substantiated by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and news outlets reported that Johnson “liked” the Facebook pages of Black Nationalist organizations such as the New Black Panther Party (NBPP), Nation of Islam, and Black Riders Liberation Army, three groups which are listed by the SPLC as hate groups.
But for HAMAS’ use of Defendants sites to raise funds, recruit, and conduct terrorist operations, HAMAS’ ability to conduct terrorist operations would essentially evaporate. Here, had Defendants sites not been used by HAMAS, and other Black Separatist Hate Groups, Micah Johnson would not have been radicalized and the deadly attack in Dallas would not have occurred. (Emphasis added.)
It thus follows, according to Sergeant Pennie, that but for HAMAS use of the sites, Johnson would not have shot the officers, and he would not have been traumatized by being a first responder. Oddly, the lawsuit chooses to focus on HAMAS and ISIS, when it appears that Johnson spent more time reading up on black separatist movements.
Johnson also told police that he was acting alone and was not affiliated with any group, and the cover photo on his Facebook cover page was the Pan-African flag. Pennie’s own lawsuit supports this theory, as the crucial “proximate cause” paragraph details how Johnson “liked” the Facebook pages of the New Black Panther Party and the African American Defense League (see paragraphs 127 & 128), while paragraph 126 merely states that Johnson was radicalized, in part, by reviewing postings of HAMAS and other terrorist groups.” Then again, neither of the black separatist groups is considered to be terrorist organizations, so it’s easy to see why Pennie would focus on HAMAS, no matter how small a connection there may be with Johnson and his attack.
Also, the phrase “HAMAS, and other Black Separatist Hate Groups” is, hopefully for Pennie, a scrivener’s error by his lawyers. HAMAS is not black separatist, and is a completely different organization, far removed in theory and geography from the black separatists. In court, it’s a game of inches, and mistakes like that can make one side lose credibility with the judge.
The social media giants have been sued before for aiding terrorism, but, to date, to no avail. Pennie has previously filed federal suit against the Blacks Lives Matter movement, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and George Soros, amongst others, for “aiding and abetting murder” of police officers. Someone must pay, no matter what, it appears. To hell with proximate and direct cause and supporting facts, so long as it involves terrorism.
One sad aspect of the attack that is the subject of Pennie’s lawsuit: it’s not the latest case involving a veteran who went off, who appeared to suffer from mental illness, and an attack that left several people dead. It’s a crisis that often flies under the radar, to the peril of America’s veterans.
*This is not done to spare my hurt feelings. The purpose is to raise the level of discourse so not to spend precious attention, time and space arguing with backward children.