A judge awarded former Student Government President Taylor Dumpson a $725,000 judgment in her lawsuit against the owner and a follower of a neo-Nazi website as a result of the hate crime in May 2017.
Dumpson filed a lawsuit in April 2018 after bananas were hung from nooses on AU’s campus marked with the letters AKA for the predominantly African-American sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha. Students discovered the bananas the morning of Dumpson’s first day in office as SG President, May 1, 2017.
The website named in the lawsuit, the Daily Stormer owned by Andrew Anglin, published a story of the hate crime on the site including Dumpson’s personal information and Facebook page. Anglin encouraged his followers to “troll” Dumpson, according to the original complaint filed by Dumpson’s lawyers.
The lawsuit was filed against Anglin, Brian Andrew Ade and Evan James McCarty. A settlement was made out of court with Evan James McCarty, one of the online harassers in December 2018. He agreed to go through “anti-hate training,”offer Dumpson an apology for his actions of social media, denounce white supremacy and commit to 200 hours of community service.
Kristen Clarke, the president and executive director of the group representing Dumpson’s case, the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said it was groundbreaking that a federal court ruled in Dumpson’s favor.
“We hope that this ruling sends a strong message to other while supremacists that they are not above the law and can and will be held accountable for their actions,” Clarke said.
Clarke said neither Anglin nor Ade appeared in court which led the judge to order the judgment in Dumpson’s favor. Anglin and his company Moonbase Holdings did not respond to The Eagle’s request for comment on Monday, Ade could not be reached.
Neither Anglin nor Ade appeared in court which led the judge to order the judgment in Dumpson’s favor, according to the lead attorney in the case David Ryan Brody.
The Associated Press reported the judge awarded Dumpson compensatory damages of $101,429.28, punitive damages of $500,000 and attorneys’ fees and costs of $124,022.10. A restraining order was also placed against Anglin, his Moonbase Holdings limited liability company and Ade, preventing them from going after Dumpson online.
Dumpson stepped down from her position as SG president in January 2018 to focus on her “health and education.” She said in the lawsuit that she suffered from PTSD and feared for her safety on campus and at home following the racist attacks against her.