Verdict in murder of George Floyd

Emory University wall

Dear Emory Community,

Today, a Minnesota jury rendered its decision in the trial of the former police officer who murdered George Floyd last May. The verdict — guilty on all counts — is a relief to me and many others, but the pain left in the wake of this tragedy remains. For the Emory community, the harrowing video of George Floyd’s last breaths moved you to speak out and take action. You, and individuals across the country, helped inspire change and much-needed self-reflection.

Although there was accountability today, there is still much left to be done.

At Emory — as scholars, educators, researchers, students, and discoverers — we have a responsibility to use our knowledge and talents and lead with our values. It starts right here on our campus, and in recent months we have taken steps to strengthen our commitment to social justice and build upon ongoing work to weave diversity, equity, and inclusion into the fabric of the institution. It will take a shared commitment across our community, but from all I’ve seen from you — your commitment, heart, and empathy — I know we can get there.

This trial comes at a time when many are exhausted and weary from all of the loss and strife that have been endured during the past year. Please seek support if you need it — there are resources available to you as a member of the Emory community through Campus Life; Counseling and Psychological Services; the Faculty Staff Assistance Program; the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; and the Office of Spiritual and Religious Life

My thoughts are with the Floyd family today. George Floyd’s death inspired so many to reconsider their beliefs and actions. We must continue making progress — to improve ourselves, our nation, and our world.  


Gregory L. Fenves