A former American University student president was awarded over $700,000 in a lawsuit filed against the founder of a Neo-Nazi website and one of his fans.
The Daily Stormer’s Andrew Anglin and follower Brian Andrew Ade never showed up for the hearing, and as a result the judge issued a default judgment in favor plaintiff Taylor Dumpson.
Ms. Dumpson allegedly was targeted by the duo after the infamous “banana noose” case came to light at American in the spring of 2017. Bananas hanging by nooses were reported at multiple locations around campus, leading then-student president Dumpson to call for more “tangible solutions” regarding racism at the university.
According to the DCist, after Anglin wrote about the nooses on his site, he then “directed his followers to ‘troll storm’ Dumpson.”
Another person named in the original complaint, Evan McCarty, agreed to a settlement last December which included an apology, renunciation of white supremacy, and 200 hours of community service.
“One of the things that’s important to recognize is that online hate has real world consequences. We often think of the internet as this wild west where anything goes, and that’s not the case,” [Dumpson lawyer David] Brody told DCist. “There are laws that apply. And when white supremacists take to the internet to attack people of color there are real consequences that have to be addressed.”
Brody says that the judgment is important in that it holds that online threats and harassment can constitute interference with the equal opportunity to participate in public accommodations. The judge awarded compensatory damages of $101,429.28, punitive damages of $500,000, and attorneys’ fees and costs of $124,022.10. The judge also entered a restraining order against Anglin and his LLC Moonbase Holdings, and Ade. Neither of them are allowed to contact Dumpson or publish any public statements about her that are harassing, intimidating, or defamatory, per the order.
As student president, Dumpson had demanded “those responsible for [the nooses be] brought to justice,” but strangely noted that any disciplinary proceedings on the matter would “remain largely confidential.” Almost a year after the nooses were discovered, American officials announced that “all credible leads” in the case had been exhausted.
In February of 2018, Dumpson resigned as student president citing “health and education” reasons. Just the December before, Dumpson had been suspended by the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority … for reasons never disclosed due to privacy concerns.
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