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- This parent of a Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim isn’t an actor.
On Oct. 12, a Connecticut jury ordered conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to pay $965 million to the family members of victims in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and an FBI agent — people who said they were targeted and traumatized by Jones’ lie that the 2012 shooting was a hoax.
Among the relatives of victims who Jones falsely claimed were actors hired as a plot to seize Americans’ guns: Robbie Parker, whose 6-year-old daughter, Emilie, was killed.
A recent Instagram post echoes this claim.
"Never forget the main character #RobbieParker in the S@ndy Ho0k hoax getting into character before his press interview less than 24hrs after the supposed killing of his 6 year old daughter," the Oct. 15 post said. (It’s possible that the misspelled reference to the school was intentional to avoid moderation.)
It featured a CNN clip of Parker speaking the day after the Dec. 14, 2012, shooting.
This Instagram post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)
In a story published the day after the verdict was issued in Jones’ defamation case, The Washington Post recalled that moment aired on CNN, when Parker became the first parent of a child killed in the shooting "to voice his grief in public" — an "anguished statement, full of love for Emilie" that was broadcast across the country.
"Jones, too, was watching," the Post reported. "He seized upon something Parker did — a brief laugh at a remark by his father as he faced an unexpectedly large throng of journalists — to advance the falsehood that the shooting was staged."
But Parker laughed, not because he was an actor getting to character, but because he was nervous and didn’t know how to start talking to reporters, the Post said. Parker’s dad was standing nearby and encouraged him, using a childhood nickname that prompted the laugh.
Parker isn’t the only family member of shooting victims who has been wrongly accused of being an actor in a plot to disarm gun owners. False flag conspiracy theories have followed every mass shooting in recent memory.
But they’re wrong, and so is this. We rate claims that Robbie Parker is an actor Pants on Fire.
Instagram post, Oct. 16, 2022
The Associated Press, Alex Jones ordered to pay $965 million for Sandy Hook lies, Oct. 12, 2022
The Washington Post, After years of being targeted by Alex Jones, a Sandy Hook father finds his voice, Oct. 13, 2022
PolitiFact, Why do some people think mass shootings are staged every time?, Aug. 8, 2019
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