That headline belongs to my friend, co-defendant, and co-podcaster Stacy McCain. I’m just borrowing it for this post.
Jarrod Ramos, the shooter at the Annapolis Capital Gazette, has apparently had some sort of feud going with the newspaper for several years, feud triggered by the paper’s truthful reporting of the facts of a previous harassment case. The shooter’s attempt at lawfare failed when a judge threw out his defamation suit. CBS News reports:
In July 2012, Ramos filed suit against Capital Gazette for defamation, according to the 2015 court filing. The complaint was just four paragraphs long, but Ramos filed a longer 22-page claim several months later.
In 2012, a judge dismissed the lawsuit on the basis that “there is absolutely not one piece of evidence, or an assertion by you that the statement [in the article] was false.”
“I think people who are the subject of newspaper articles, whoever they may be, feel that there is a requirement that they be placed in the best light, or they have an opportunity to have the story reported to their satisfaction, or have the opportunity to have however much input they believe is appropriate,” Judge Maureen M. Lamasney said when dismissing the case. “But that’s simply not true. There is nothing in those complaints that prove that anything that was published about you is, in fact, false.”
The Truth was a complete defense in court, but apparently not effective against a crazy person who would continue to hound the paper for years on Twitter. I will be interested to see what measures the Capital Gazette (and its parent the Baltimore Sun) take to improve the safety and security of their offices and employees.
UPDATE—Stacy has more to say about this at The Other McCain.