You are here: American University President Announcements April 27, 2018 Memo

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Memorandum April 27, 2018

AU Community
Sylvia M. Burwell, President
Status of Hate Crime Investigation

Nearly one year ago, on May 1, 2017, our community experienced the pain of a deeply troubling racist act. American University's police department elevated the hate crime to the FBI and the US Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia to work in partnership on the investigation.

Although the investigation has been aggressively pursued for nearly a year, the US Attorney's Office, the FBI, and American University Police have shared their assessment that all credible leads have been exhausted at this time and no suspect has been identified to date. If someone comes forward with additional information, it will be investigated.

I know this is disappointing. I recognize the anger and grief that many experienced because of this traumatic event and understand that this is not the outcome we hoped for. We must create our own path to healing as a community.

The best way I know to move forward is to continue to work together as a community and focus on actions to improve the well-being and safety of all. We will not waver from our commitment to ensure that ours is an inclusive, safe campus for everyone. In the past year, we have taken important steps forward to improve public safety and launched our Plan for Inclusive Excellence. AU cannot be excellent without being truly inclusive, and without taking the concrete, specific steps to improve our campus climate.

Colleges and universities continue to be targets of hate. American University will respond, unified, with resilience and determination to pursue our goals.