Racially-Motivated Attack Alleged at Akron's SAE Fraternity


An African American student at the University of Akron is alleging in a lawsuit that in 2014 he was physically attacked and the target of racial slurs by members of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at the University of Akron, and the subject of false arrest by campus police who took the word of the frat brothers without any investigation.

The lawsuit comes amid a slew of recent stories about overtly racist behavior at other SAE chapters across the country, like the insane chants by the University of Oklahoma chapter ("there will never be a n***** in SAE / There will never be a n***** in SAE / You can hang him from a tree, but he can never sign with me /There will never be a n***** in SAE"), or the numerous other example throughout its history.

The lawsuit filed on Friday by African-American student Gabriel Dorsey states that he attended a Super Bowl party at the frat house on Feb. 2, 2014, when a frat brother drunkenly came on to Dorsey's girlfriend. When Dorsey confronted him, he says the guy punched him in the face, and then was "immediately attacked by a score of SAE brothers" when he defended himself, causing him to fall to the ground, and was the target of "multiple blows, kicks, and strikes while defenseless." When the the frat brothers were attacking Dorsey, they were yelling n***** at him, it says, and then was tossed out of the house by the group.

Following the beating, it says two of the frat brothers came up with the plan to tell campus police that Dorsey was the aggressor "and further conspired and manufactured false reports of two additional unidentified black males as accomplices" with Dorsey attacked them "without provocation and then fled on foot," despite there only being one other black person at the house (an SAE brother who later left the frat because of their racist behavior).

Dorsey and his lawyer say police arrested him without any investigation — like, say, watching the surveillance footage — and maliciously prosecuted him without probable cause. He was taken to the Summit County Jail and "was forced to bond out of jail and miss both work and school."

Because of this, he was expelled from all state universities in Ohio, it says.

Once he got out, Dorsey was "confronted by SAE members known and unknown by threats of violence and racial slurs including but not limited to n***** via social media and telephone messages."

In September, Dorsey was acquitted of all charges, and was allowed to return as a student this semester. He missed a full year of college because of the incident. Dorsey and his lawyers are suing the national SAE fraternity, the frat's Akron chapter and its members, University of Akron Police Department officers.

Update: Cleveland.com has some more details on the incident, including the police report, surveillance video, and comments from the university. It is more thorough than this blog post and is worth checking out

Read the suit below:

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Doug Brown

Doug Brown is a staff writer at Scene with a passion for public records laws and investigative reporting. A native of Ann Arbor, Mich., he has an M.A. in journalism from the Kent State University School of Journalism and Mass Communication and a B.A. in political science from Hiram College. Prior to joining Scene,...
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