A Kentucky teenager mistakenly believed to be an illegal alien and beaten by the Ku Klx Klan has won $2.5 million in a tort action against the Imperial Klans of America and its founder. Jordan Gruver’s lawsuit is the latest win by the Southern Poverty Law Center that seeks to bankrupt racist organizations through litigation.
Gruver, then 16, is an American citizen of Panamanian and Native-American descent. He will receive $1.5 million in compensatory damages and $1 million in punitive damages against “Imperial Wizard” Ron Edwards. Also named in litigation was “Grant Titan” Jarred R. Hensley.
An all-white jury of seven men and seven women deliberated for just five hours after three days of testimony to render the verdict. Three members of the Klan group confronted Gruver in July 2006 at the Meade County Fair in Brandenberg, Kentucky. The attackers were allegedly part of a recruiting effort. They taunted him with ethnic slurs, spat on him and doused him with alcohol. Two of the men, including Hensley, knocked Gruver to the ground, repeatedly struck and kicked him. Gruver suffered a broken jaw, broken left forearm, two cracked ribs and cuts and bruises. He also claims nerve damage and psychological trauma.
It is a bad week for the KKK and its recruiting efforts to locate other racist throwbacks with an arrest of another KKK leader in a murder case out of Louisiana.
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