Statement on Chauvin Verdict

"We are hopeful that Tuesday’s guilty verdicts in the Derek Chauvin trial represent a step forward. Collectively, we have a great deal of important work to do, and higher education plays an essential role in building those critical bridges in our communities." - Dr. Ann Leja, Interim President

As an institution of higher learning founded in Minnesota 121 years ago, Rasmussen University has grieved along with our community since George Floyd was murdered in Minneapolis last summer. We are hopeful that Tuesday's guilty verdicts in the Derek Chauvin trial represent a step forward. Collectively, we have a great deal of important work to do, and higher education plays an essential role in building those critical bridges in our communities. As we await sentencing, we must actively work to ensure healing, and healthy but honest communication, occurs among everyone in the Rasmussen University community.

As was stated in closing arguments, this trial and its verdict were not anti-law enforcement. They were about one officer who broke the law and unjustly took a man’s life. In many ways, this was a pro-police trial that saw eight law enforcement officials testify in favor of Tuesday's guilty verdicts. For many who have never experienced what it’s like to be Black or Brown in America, or to be a police officer on the right side of the law, the life and death of George Floyd has motivated an important national conversation that we must embrace in order to build bridges and heal. Again, Rasmussen University will support and encourage healthy, empathetic, and honest communication in a series of “Real Talk” sessions scheduled in the coming days.

Sincerely,
Dr. Ann Leja
Interim President, Rasmussen University


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