Oberlin College has to pay $11 million in damages after a bakery won a lawsuit alleging the school defamed or otherwise libeled the family-owned shop.
The lawsuit, filed by the Gibson’s Bakery shop in November 2017, was settled this week when an Ohio jury ordered Oberlin College to pay $11 million to the bakery after being accused of libelous behavior. Following an attempt to shoplift from the local bakery, the lawsuit alleged that Oberlin employees -- and the institution itself -- spread defamatory information against the bakery for allegedly racist behavior.
In Nov. 2016, an Oberlin student, Jonathan Aladin, was caught attempting to steal wine from the bakery. Two other individuals, according to the lawsuit, were also arrested and accused of misdemeanor assault during the same altercation.
In response to the arrests, protests and boycotts against Gibson’s bakery ensued with protesters accusing the store of being racist as Aladin is a minority. Reportedly, numerous employees of Oberlin attended these protests, passing out allegedly libelous flyers which read: “[Gibson’s] is a RACIST establishment with a LONG ACCOUNT of RACIAL PROFILING and DISCRIMINATION.”
In addition to accusing the bakery of racist behavior, the flyer called for an economic boycott as well.
WATCH: Campus Reform speaks with Cornell law professor William Jacobson about Oberlin College:
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“Today we urge you to shop elsewhere in light of a particularly heinous event involving the owners of this establishment and local law enforcement."
The flyer included a description of the incident, claiming that Aladin “was apprehended and choked” by a Gibson’s employee and subsequently “chased and tackled” prior to being arrested by local police.
In response to the accusations of sustained actions of discrimination, the Oberlin Police Department conducted its own investigation into the bakery’s history, finding that of the 40 adults arrested for shoplifting at Gibson’s in the past five years, only six were black.
Aladin went on to plead guilty to a second-degree misdemeanor charge after the felony robbery charge was dismissed. Aladin and the other two individuals arrested durin
Read more: https://www.campusreform.org/?ID=13311