School principal fired after Confederate monument protest sues for defamation
NEW ORLEANS — A former New Orleans charter school principal who was fired after he was documented wearing white supremacist gear at a rally protesting the removal of Confederate statues is suing for defamation.
Nicholas Dean spoke to photographer Abdul Aziz near the 2017 rally in a widely circulated video that showed Dean wearing a helmet and carrying a plywood shield sporting several rune-like markings that the ACLU of Louisiana classifies as “Nazi-associated symbols.”
In Aziz’s video, which was posted to YouTube, Dean can also be seen “wearing rings associated with Nazism and other gear popular among ‘alt-right’ activists and white nationalists,” according to the ACLU.
Dean, who now lives in Florida, is suing Aziz and NOLA.com The Times Picayune for defamation, but the ACLU of Louisiana is asking a Federal judge in Florida to throw out the suit.
“If Nicholas Dean didn’t want people to know about his political views, he shouldn’t have attended a public protest alongside Nazis and white nationalists wearing Nazi-associated symbols,” ACLU of Louisiana executive director Alanah Odoms Hebert said. “Rather than take responsibility for his actions, Mr. Dean is trying to use the courts to punish the journalist who photographed him in public. His claims have no merit and should be immediately dismissed.”
After he was fired from Crescent Leadership Academy in the wake of the video’s release, Dean wrote that he would “exact a bloody revenge” on the “hostile media” if he could.
Writing as Nick Dean Andrews for a blog called Right Source Media, Dean vented his anger and frustration at his termination and the current state of his life in a June 11, 2017, entry entitled “They.”
Decrying his “shackled wrists,” Dean wrote that the claim that the rings he was wearing in the video are “Nazi SS rings” is a lie that ended his professional life, which he said is in “smoldering ruins.”
“…I turn my face in anger…To the hostile media, the fake news, whores of clickbait: Your rush to judgement has destroyed more lives than you can count,” Dean wrote. “The total number of likes, shares, and views you lust for have destroyed a good and well-meaning life. You don’t look back to see the debris your tornado left in its wake. If I had nothing to lose, which I do, I would indeed exact a bloody revenge.”
Dean went on to assail the “leftist progressives” that he calls “limp-wristed day-dreamers” for indulging in lives of red wine, pills, loneliness, self-gratification, and pornography, as well as the “neo-cons on the right,” who he writes are “being played like a fiddle” by “Jews.”
“I’ve been labeled Alt-Right. If that label is something they vaguely recognize as a threat, I will gladly accept it,” Dean wrote.
Dean has offered no evidence that he is not aligned with white nationalist organizations, according to the ACLU.