Oberlin College is being sued for libel and slander by a local bakery, after the college administrators have backed student’s spurious claims that the bakery was acting in a “racist” manner for trying to stop black students from shoplifting from the bakery.
Yes, you heard that correct. It’s now apparently racist to attempt to stop black people from committing crimes.
The suit that has been filed against the college and Meredith Raimondo, Dean of Students, was filed on November 7th in the Lorain County Common Pleas Court on behalf of the Gibson Bros. Inc., and owners, David and Allyn Gibson, the news source reported.
The complaint has come after a year since Oberlin College students held a massive protest in front of the Gibson’s Food Mart and Bakery, in response to the three of their peers being arrested and charged with shoplifting.
Allyn Gibson was also physically assaulted by the students during this particular incident, as per the police who had arrived on the scene.
The group of students, of which only one was white, had pleaded guilty in court, in August to the attempted theft and the aggravated trespassing.
As part of the deal offered to them, the trio had to read their statements stating explicitly that their arrest for their crimes were not racially motivated.
However, a flier that has disseminated at the Nov. 2016 multi-day protest, which was vastly attended by the college deans—including Raimondo—staff, faculty, and hundreds of students, pressed the customers to cease the patronizing of the “racist establishment with a long account of racial profiling and discrimination,” as per the suit.
An Oberlin Police Department investigation about the racism charges found that only six of these 40 shoplifters arrested at Gibson’s in the last 5 years were African American, as per the report.
The Gibson suit also accuses that the college supported their students in their show of racial outrage in an attempt to push a narrative of Oberlin having a “legacy of being a strong advocate for and a strong supporter of African American students and racial minorities.”
Tensions between the Gibsons and the college have increased ever since Oberlin had announced on Nov. 14, 2016 that it would no longer be doing business with the bakery, “in an effort to de-escalate a complicated and very tense situation,” as then-Oberlin President Marvin Krislov had explained.
David Gibson also met with the college administrators to reportedly discuss these repeated blows to his business, and was in turn told that the college would be open to reversing the decision if the bakery would not push-in any criminal charges against the three of their students.
Administrators had also insisted Gibson promise to contact Raimondo, and not the police, when, if in, future student shoplifters were caught, as per the suit.
Oberlin College has an interest in seeing the bakery fail, as it seeks to go on and take control of a parking lot adjacent to the bakery and owned by a company in which David Gibson holds controlling interest, the Journal had reported.
The suit’s charges against Oberlin and Raimondo also include “tortious interference with business relationships, tortious interference with contracts, deceptive trade practices, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent hiring retention and supervision and trespass,” according to the report.
The Gibsons are seeking over $50,000.