Sandy Hook Parent personally targeted by Alex Jones testifies at trial

A parent whose child was killed in a school shooting and who was personally targeted by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones as a hoax actor has testified to the onslaught of abuse he and his family suffered after stalkers attacked them.

Robbie Parker’s 6-year-old daughter, Emilie, was among 20 children and six adults killed in the 2012 Connecticut shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary. A day after her death, Parker held a press conference to talk about her baby girl. Just before approaching the microphones, Parker gave a nervous laugh. That was all Jones needed to accuse Parker of being a “crisis actor” involved in a set-up.

Jones fanatics immediately began descending on the family, Robbie and his wife, Alissa, testified in a Connecticut courtroom on Wednesday. The parents are among several Sandy Hook families who are suing Jones for the sickening lies he spread for years claiming the shooting was staged. A jury will now decide how much Jones – who has already lost more than $45 million in a previous Sandy Hook defamation case – should pay the Connecticut families.

“It was very tender,” Alissa testified of Robbie’s press conference that day. “It was about this beautiful girl who was gone from our lives and that our life was not defined by that horrible moment but that we knew this beautiful being, and [Robbie] captured that.

A press conference meant to celebrate their daughter’s life instead turned into conspiracy fodder for Jones’ Infowars audience. In the years that followed, Alissa and Robbie received threatening letters and emails. On a memorial page for his daughter, Robbie found himself up late at night desperately trying to suppress vile extremist posts.

“It really turned me off,” Robbie said. “I was looking for something to keep me steady because my compass was spinning, I didn’t know which way was what, and seeing those comments broke that connection that I had, that stability.”

Robbie said what started as a “load of comments” from the attackers “quickly became a burning pile of garbage”.

Among the messages, which Alissa described as a “complete assault”, were threats of violence and heinous insults, including calling their deceased 6-year-old daughter a “bitch”.

Meanwhile, Infowars saw spikes in traffic and sales as Jones pushed the lie.

The parents described Emilie as a sweet girl who loved art and who put others before herself. Emilie didn’t throw tantrums because she was so good at verbalizing her emotions, and in photos with her two younger sisters, she always had her arms wrapped tightly around them, the parents testified.

In his testimony, Robbie described the day Emilie was born.

“I was so scared to see how much I could love someone so immediately,” he said. “I had never felt so vulnerable in my entire life as when Emilie looked at me.”

During his testimony last week, Jones was asked about the lies he spread about Robbie and offered no remorse for the pain he caused him and his family, saying at one point given that he was “done saying I’m sorry”.

“For years and years and years, you’ve been calling these acting families, haven’t you?” attorney Chris Mattei, who represents the plaintiffs, asked Jones.

“You’ve called Robbie Parker an actor many times,” Mattei said.

“I said it looked like he was acting,” Jones replied.


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