The Oberlin students, with the support of some faculty and staff, accused the bakery of racial profiling three Oberlin students who were arrested for shoplifting. Those three students eventually pleaded guilty, and police stats showed that Gibson’s did not engage in racial profiling. Nonetheless, the turmoil has continued, and Gibson’s is suing claiming a continuing campaign to strangle its business.
Protests and Boycotts After Shoplifting Arrests
Our prior post covered the background of the dispute in great detail, Bakery targeted by Oberlin College #BlackLivesMatter fights back:
On November 9, 2016, Gibson’s employees noticed what they thought was a person shoplifting two bottles of wine hidden in his jacket. That alleged shoplifter was a black Oberlin College student. When they attempted to stop and photograph him, they were attacked by several other people accompanying the student.
The police were called. The Oberlin town police department has posted the Incident Reportonline, reflecting the arrest of the alleged shoplifter and two others involved in the scuffle. …
What could have been a simple shoplifting incident and arrest created a firestorm when Oberlin College students, including the Black Student Union, Student Senate and College Democrats, alleged racial profiling and launched a boycott of Gibson’s. Protests were launched outside the bakery….
Oberlin College Vice President and Dean of Students Meredith Raimondo provided this statement to Legal Insurrection in response to the news report that she was passing out literature accusing Gibson’s of racism:
Information and literature available at the protest was prepared by organizers, not the college. I passed along a flyer that was circulating among the crowd to a news tribune reporter who was seeking information from students about what was taking place. I did not prepare the flyer and do not have a copy of the flyer. My presence was to help ensure that a safe environment was maintained.
… The Oberlin Student Senate passed a resolution calling for a boycott of Gibson’s ….
As noted in that post, the college issued a statement which at least implicitly endorsed the boycott:
… Regarding the incident at Gibson’s, we are deeply troubled because we have heard from students that there is...
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