White Cornell Student Admits To Using Racial Slur While Hate Crime And Assault Charges Are Dropped

John Greenwood will complete 75 hours of community service for the non-criminal violation.


In April, three misdemeanor charges, including a hate crime, were dropped against the white Cornell University sophomore who was arrested after a Black student was assaulted and verbally harassed with racial slurs on campus.

John P.A. Greenwood, 20, pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct and admitted using the slur in the September 2017 incident. Because Greenwood will complete 75 hours of community service for the non-criminal violation, reported the New York Times.

Matthew Van Houten, the Tompkins County district attorney decided to drop the attempted assault as a hate crime charge due to a “level of doubt” surrounding Greenwood's involvement and the victim’s desire to move on from the incident.


A fraternity will shut down and a student faces assault charges after a verbal and physical attack on a Black student at Cornell University was reported. Officials are now investigating the possible hate crime.  

During the incident, which allegedly involved members of Psi Upsilon, an unidentified Black junior was repeatedly called “n****r” and then attacked when he tried to stand up for himself.

The junior, who wishes to remain anonymous, told The Cornell Sun that the attack took place when he was walking home and saw a fight taking place that he attempted to break up. When he told the students to leave the residence, they began shouting racial slurs.  

“They said ‘F**k you, n****r,’ over and over, as they were leaving,” he told The Sun.

The junior also said “four or five of the guys came up and started punching me in the face repeatedly” when he attempted to confront them for their language.  

In a video recorded on campus, another Black student was repeatedly called a "n****r" by several white students. The student in the video says one of the assailants participated in the assault against the junior. 

One suspect involved in the physical attack was identified by the Washington Post as 19-year-old John Greenwood. The Cornell student has been charged with third-degree assault and police said further charges are pending.

Psi Upsilon Executive Director Thomas Fox told The Post on Wednesday that no one matching Greenwood’s name is a member but referred to a statement that says the fraternity was alerted to “an alleged hate crime involving members affiliated with the Chi Chapter of Psi Upsilon at Cornell University.”

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