Pulse shooting victims ask federal appeals court to revive social media lawsuit
By Christen Smith
People visit the memorial to the victims of the mass shooting setup around the Pulse gay nightclub one year after the shooting on June 12, 2017 in Orlando, Florida. Omar Mateen killed 49 people at the club a little after 2 a.m. on June 12, 2016. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Relatives of three Orlando shooting victims asked a federal appeals court this month to revive a lawsuit against the social media companies they claim helped radicalize gunman Omar Mateen before the 2016 attack.
A federal judge in Michigan dismissed the suit in March — the same day an Orlando jury acquitted Mateen’s widow on charges of aiding and abetting and obstruction of justice — noting there’s no evidence any of the ISIS propaganda found on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube directly influenced Mateen to murder 49 people at Pulse nightclub on June 12, 2016.
“The only conduct involved with the attacks that is described with any particularity is Mateen’s,” U.S. District Judge David Lawson concluded in a March 30 opinion, pointing out that none of the companies nor ISIS itself participated in the shooting.
The families of victims Tevin Eugene Crosby, Javier Jorge-Reyes and Juan Ramon Guerrero asked the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to