Law enforcement dispatched to protect SG president
White supremacist encouraged online followers to “troll her”
The University dispatched AU police officers yesterday to protect Student Government President Taylor Dumpson after a white supremacist group encouraged its followers to troll her online, Vice President for Communication Teresa Flannery announced in an email to the University Friday morning.
Andrew Anglin, founder of the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer, encouraged his followers to troll Dumpson and "any related social media accounts," according to a letter written to the University by Doron Ezickson, director of the Anti-Defamation League's D.C. regional office.
This was an online, not physical, threat to Dumpson’s safety, said Kelly Alexander, director of public relations for the University. The police officers are an extra precaution to protect her physical safety.
“Our community has been threatened on campus; it continues online,” Flannery said in the email. “American University will not allow any member of our community to be intimidated and we will not be discouraged. I hope you will stand with Taylor and me and continue to stand up for our values.”
Dumpson is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and the first black female president of student government. She and her sorority were the target of a racist hate crime on campus Monday morning, the same day Dumpson took office.
The Anti Defamation League discovered the cyber threat against Dumpson on Thursday. The University learned of the threat around 6 p.m. Thursday night, Alexander said. The University then contacted Dumpson and her family before deploying public safety officers to protect her, Alexander said.
The University police issued a follow up email Friday morning that detailed tips for staying safe online, especially on social media. The email asked for anyone with information to come forward or submit an anonymous tip online.
The University will hold a Facebook Live session at 12:00 p.m. to discuss the incident and safety tips. Flannery and Douglas Pierce, assistant director of physical security and police technology for public safety, will lead the town hall.