Taylor Dumpson, a student at D.C.’s American University, won the lawsuit she filed against a neo-Nazi website operator. Dumpson was the first black female head of the American University’s student body.
A federal judge in D.C. ordered Dumpson to be paid $725,000 by the perpetrators in the case that resulted from her being bombarded with racist and sexist messages, including threats. The online harassment campaign started after Andrew Anglin, the founder of the Daily Stormer, encouraged his followers to target her. Anglin is a known white supremacist.
Following Dumpson’s election as the president of her university’s student body in 2017, she became the target of hate crimes.
“Bananas were hung around campus, with black nooses, with racial slurs written on the bananas,” said her lawyer Arusha Gordon about her client’s experiences.
She was also attacked online by a large number of internet trolls urged by Anglin and his follower Andrew Ade. The bullying messages reportedly impacted her mentally, physically and emotionally, eventually leading her to be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. She later sued Anglin and Ade. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of Dumpson on Friday.
U.S. District Judge Rosemary Collyer concluded that Anglin’s actions “were racially motivated and intentionally resulted in a campaign of racial and gender harassment,” according to Buzzfeed.
“The extent of the troll storm was significant and Mr. Anglin, through the Daily Stormer, intended that result or was reckless in his actions,” Collyer added in her ruling.
Dumpson’s lawyers believe that her case may set a precedent and could offer a “road map” for similar cases involving white supremacy and online harassment.