This morning, American University President Sylvia Burwell announced that after a yearlong investigation into the May 1, 2017 hate crime by the FBI, US Attorney for the District of Columbia, and AUPD, there has not been a suspect identified. While we are disappointed, we are not discouraged.
It will be one year on Tuesday, May 1 since our campus community was shaken by a racist act— the hanging of bananas from nooses the morning AU’s first Black female AUSG President, Taylor Dumpson, took office.
The weeks and months that ensued have changed us as a community and as an AU family. But while we may have been shaken by the May 1, 2017 hate crime, this university’s resolve to make actual change was strengthened.
Echoing the sentiment of President Burwell this morning, we are disappointed that after a year of investigations by the FBI, the US Attorney for the District of Columbia, and AUPD, all leads have been exhausted with no suspect identified.
The pain and lasting trauma that the May 1 hate crime put on our students is undeniable, and we have worked tirelessly over the past year to create a better campus climate— one in which every student can feel at home and supported.
We’re not there yet. The university has been a great partner in establishing the building blocks and setting a roadmap for a more inclusive AU, and we’ll continue to hold the administration to its commitment.
As we said last year, acts like the May 1 hate crime cannot and will not be tolerated at American University. It is unfortunate that the perpetrator in this case has not been brought to justice, but it’s also important to recognize all that has been achieved over the past year as a community— without this justice.
AUSG Vice President