An Ohio jury on Friday slapped Oberlin College with an $11.2 million damages penalty for siding with three black students who had claimed they were victims of racial profiling after they were caught shoplifting in 2016, a report said.
The liberal arts college must pay the massive compensatory damages award to the family-owned Gibson’s Bakery, where the three students had been arrested for attempting to steal or buy alcohol with a false ID.
The arrests were met with massive protests by students and faculty at the school.
During the protests, the Dean of Students, Meredith Raimondo, drew up a flyer, claiming Gibson’s had a history of racial profiling, the Chronicle-Telegram reported.
But wait…it gets better…on Tuesday, the jury will begin considering punitive damages against the college. 🙂
ELYRIA — A Lorain County jury on Friday awarded the owners of Gibson’s Bakery more than $11 million from Oberlin College in finding that the college inflicted emotional distress, interfered with business relationships and libeled the family-owned bakery in downtown Oberlin.
The jury also found that Meredith Raimondo, the college’s vice president and dean of students, libeled the family and business.
“All the Gibsons ever wanted was for the truth to come out,” Lee Plakas, lead attorney for the Gibson family, said afterward. “All they ever asked from the beginning, from Oberlin College, was to use its power and influence and might to tell the truth, and that letter never came. But the jury sent the letter that was louder and more visible and more public. I think the Gibson family is grateful for that and grateful for the jury to have the courage to be able to send a letter that no one else would send for the last almost three years.”
The jury ruled for Allyn W. Gibson and his son, David Gibson, as well as the bakery itself — awarding $5.8 million for David, $3 million for Allyn and $2.2 million for the bakery.
The jury found in favor of David Gibson on both counts of libel against the college and Raimondo. The jurors blamed only the college for intentional infliction of emotional distress to David Gibson, clearing Raimondo on that count.