September 11, 2017

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

I am following up on the statement I sent to you yesterday with an update on the investigation by the Amherst College Police Department into the heinous act committed on our campus last week when someone tied and left a noose on Pratt field.

In an earlier email message, you will have learned from Chief of Police, John Carter, that the individuals responsible have been identified. Because they are juveniles, we are prevented by law from identifying them. The ACPD has now turned the case over to the District Attorney’s office where a decision will be made about the action’s possible status as a hate crime under Massachusetts law. I want to assure you that neither of these two individuals will be allowed on our campus again. The College is issuing no trespass orders and they will be barred from setting foot on campus.

I am relieved that these individuals have been identified. I am also keenly aware of the fear, anger, and despair that their actions have caused in our community. Despite its gravity, this case is unfortunately not isolated from many other experiences of prejudice and discrimination that our students of color have faced and continue to face. I see this moment as an opportunity to dedicate ourselves more concertedly and creatively to fighting bigotry and discrimination and to creating the inclusive intellectual community that every student at Amherst is promised.

In closing, I want to thank Chief Carter and the Amherst College Police Department for their hard work and success in identifying these suspects.