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President Drake calls for renewed effort to address racial injustice

Statement reflects on death of George Floyd in police custody

Ohio State University President Michael V. Drake has issued a statement following the death of 46-year-old George Floyd, who died Monday in Minnesota while in police custody. An officer has been criminally charged in the death.

Drake delivered the following statement on Friday, May 28:

On behalf of The Ohio State University, I want to express our horror and disgust at the brutality and inhumanity we witnessed this week in Minneapolis. I am heartsick at seeing the death of yet another unarmed man in police custody, and yet another example of the racism that has crippled our nation for so very long.

We must seriously and concretely redouble our efforts to end abuse, discrimination, bigotry, and hatred.

I have reached out to leaders in our community to deepen and extend our dialogue on how to actively address racial injustice. We have witnessed despicable acts like this far too many times in our lives. We must work as one to live up to our values and to create the just society that is our birthright.

On Saturday, May 29, Drake commented further in a campus-wide email:

Dear Ohio State Community:

We typically share with you a weekend email update on various COVID-19 related issues. We will send the update on Monday this week.

I ask instead that we use this weekend to reflect on the horrific events of the past week and specifically on what we as individuals, as a community, and as a nation must do to prevent crimes like this from happening again. What can we do to make things different?

George Floyd suffered a horrendous and completely unnecessary death. His killing, and those that have come before, demand that we create a different future. This can and must be our task.

This time, we must act. That starts with dialogue, which I have renewed with key community partners. We must reaffirm our commitment as Buckeyes to our university values of inclusion, diversity and tolerance.

Today, let us also act by reflecting on what’s in our hearts and directing our activities to collaborative efforts to produce lasting change.


Michael V. Drake, MD

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