A DART Dallas police officer wounding during the July 7 ambush shooting is suing Facebook, Twitter and Google, claiming the social media companies knowingly supported terrorist groups responsible for radicalizing the shooter.
The suit was filed Wednesday in a federal court in Dallas on behalf of Jesus Retana, and his husband, Andrew Moss.
Five officers — four Dallas police officers and one Dallas Area Rapid Transit officer — were killed July 7, 2016 in downtown Dallas when an armed man ambushed and opened fire on police near the end of a peaceful protest against nationwide officer-involved shootings. Retana was one of 9 officers shot in the deadliest attack on U.S. law enforcement since Sept. 11, 2001.
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Gunman Micah Johnson was eventually killed by explosives carried by a police robot following a standoff with officers.
The 96-page complaint alleges Johnson was radicalized by HAMAS' use of Twitter, Facebook and Google, which owns YouTube. It alleges the social media sites served "as a tool for spreading extremist propaganda, raising funds and attracting new recruits" and enabled Hamas to incite others to carry out terrorist attacks, including the July 7 shooting.
The Dallas Morning News reported Keith Altman, an attorney representing Retana and Moss, said the lawsuit is one of several he has filed against the tech giants in an attempt to hold them responsible for terrorists using their platforms.
Altman in 2016 filed a similar suit for the families of three men killed in the Orlando Pulse nightclub attack, which argued the social media platforms allowed radical groups to spread propoganda that led up to the shooting. The lawsuit was eventually dismissed by a federal judge.
The DMN reports in January 2017, Dallas police Sgt. Demetrick Pennie — also represented by Altman — sued the three tech companies in a case that was later dismissed. A federal judge ruled that the plaintiffs did not "plausibly allege a connection between Hamas and the Dallas shooting."
Google, Twitter and Facebook have not responded to The DMN's requests for comment.
See below for the full lawsuit.