One Year Later, Still No Culprit Found in May 1 Hate Crime

BY: LAUREN LUMPKIN

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Nearly one year after the May 1, 2017 hate crime that targeted American University's first black woman student government president, the perpetrator remains unidentified.

Last spring, bananas hanged from nooses and marred with the name "Harambe" and the letters "AKA" - the letters of the sorority of which Taylor Dumpson belonged at the time of the incident - were found strewn across campus. Shortly after the incident, AU's police department announced an investigation that involved the FBI and U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia.

The investigation has been unsuccessful. 

"Although the investigation has been aggressively pursued for nearly a year, the U.S. 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," wrote university President Sylvia Burwell in a statement Friday morning.

The statement also promises that additional information will be investigated. 

Burwell did highlight strides the university has taken in the name of diversity and inclusion since the May 1 hate crime, including improvements to public safety and the Plan for Inclusive Excellence.

"We will not waver from our commitment to ensure that our [campus] is an inclusive, safe campus for everyone," Burwell wrote.

Hate crimes at colleges and universities have been on the rise since the 2016 presidential election. The U.S. Department of Education reported a 25 percent increase between 2015 and 2016, alone.