American University student president targeted by hate crime speaks out

WASHINGTON – The FBI joined campus police in their search for the person who put up bananas in nooses at American University.  Police said they received tips after releasing surveillance video of a person of interest.

As the investigation continued, students marched, protested, met with the university president, and held a town hall meeting to discuss racism on campus.

“It’s vile, it’s heinous, it’s disgusting, it makes people feel unsafe,” American University Student Government President Taylor Dumpson told DCW50.

Monday, Dumpson became the first black woman to be installed as American’s student government president.  That same day, bananas marked with the letters AKA were found hanging by nooses from lamp posts and trees on campus.

“When you put certain symbols out there, a noose, a banana that says to people of color in this country, certain things,” explained Dorothy Buckhanan Wilson, International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Investigators say the racially charged act targeted Dumpson and members of Alpha Kappa Alpha, a historically black sorority.

 

“To come this far, and be met with these circumstances, is unacceptable,” expressed the sorority’s North Atlantic Regional Director, Meredith Henderson.

Students say they are fed up and demanding action by the university.

“I think the student body has been growing closer together, in the sense that people have been growing more and more tired together,” said Dumpson.