The first African-American female student body president of American University won a $725,000 judgment on Friday in a lawsuit against Andrew Anglin, the publisher of the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer who incited a racist “troll storm” targeting her, a judge ruled.
This was the third judgment in the past three months against Mr. Anglin. In a separate case on Thursday, a $14 million judgment was rendered against him. He owes a total of nearly $20 million to three people, but they have yet to see a cent in payments.
On the day that the student, Taylor Dumpson, was sworn in as American University’s student body president in May 2017, bananas were found hanging on nooses around campus.
The bananas had messages scrawled on them. One referred to Ms. Dumpson’s predominantly black sorority and another read “HARAMBE BAIT,” a reference to the gorilla killed at the Cincinnati Zoo in 2016.
After news outlets reported on the nooses, Mr. Anglin posted Ms. Dumpson’s personal information online and encouraged his followers to harass her. Among them, Brian Ade and Evan McCarty heeded the call, threatening her with racist and demeaning messages online, according to a lawsuit filed last year.
Ms. Dumpson constantly feared for her safety and learned she had post-traumatic stress disorder, according to the lawsuit. She went on to graduate from American University and is enrolled in law school, one of her lawyers, Kristen Clarke, said.
Mr. McCarty, of Eugene, Ore., reached a settlement in December in which he agreed to apologize, renounce white supremacy, undergo counseling and help civil rights groups fight hate and bigotry.
“Ms. Dumpson was targeted because of her race and gender,” Judge Rosemary Collyer of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia wrote in her ruling on Friday awarding the judgment.
Ms. Dumpson was awarded $500,000 in punitive damages, $124,000 in attorneys’ fees and more than $101,000 in compensatory damages.
The ruling applied to Mr. Ade, Mr. Anglin and the limited liability company Moonbase Holdings, which provides The Daily Stormer and Mr. Anglin financial support, according to court papers.
Ms. Clarke, the lawyer for Ms. Dumpson, praised the rulings.
“Too often hate crime victims don’t get justice, but that didn’t happen here,” she said on Saturday, adding that the ruling “should make it incredibly difficult for The Daily Stormer to carry on business as usual.”
None of the defendants appeared in court, Ms. Clarke said. Mr. Anglin’s location was unknown, and he did not respond to an email on Saturday seeking comment. Mr. Ade could not be immediately reached and no lawyer was listed in court papers for Moonbase Holdings.
“This ruling is historic in that it marks the first time that a court has deemed racist online trolling activity that can interfere with one’s equal access to a public accommodation,” Ms. Clarke said in a statement. “The court’s ruling recognizes the real-world damage done when bigots take to the internet to target and threaten African-Americans and other people of color.”
On Thursday, Tanya Gersh, a Jewish real estate agent in Montana, was awarded $14 million in a judgment against Mr. Anglin after he led an online anti-Semitic harassment and intimidation campaign against her in 2016 because of her interactions with Sherry Spencer, the mother of the white supremacist leader Richard Spencer.
Subodh Chandra, Mr. Obeidallah’s lawyer, said the comedian has not received any money or heard from Mr. Anglin but that Mr. Anglin appeared to have “complied with the injunction by removing the defamatory material from his website.”
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