Statement from East Carolina leadership on March 17 incident
March 24, 2016
Early on March 17 an incident that began at a downtown Greenville nightclub concluded on our campus with a brutal group beating of an individual near West End. The victim was not a student. Greenville police have issued warrants thus far for identified suspects on charges of assault inflicting serious bodily injury, a felony. An ECU student is among those identified suspects.
We are appalled at this incident. We will not tolerate violence in our community or on our campus. We want the perpetrators to be brought to justice and will continue to work in every way we can to assist with the investigation and with the process of delivering justice.
East Carolina is a safe campus. The latest data show violent crime is rare. This incident did not begin on our campus, but it makes us more determined than ever to make East Carolina a safe place for everyone — students, visitors, parents, the community. We have taken some immediate steps in response to this incident.
There is an additional concern we would like to mention. The victim in this incident is African American; the suspects are all white. We understand the investigation thus far provides no confirmation that race played a role. We hope that to be the case, and we urge our campus and community to let the process work.
- Any ECU student arrested by Greenville Police Department in connection to this incident will be subject to immediate action in compliance with our student code of conduct policies and procedures.
- Greenville Police is the primary investigating agency of this incident. However, ECU police were first on the scene. ECU officers did not use violence in their response, but the protocol followed by the initial responding officer in this incident was not appropriate for the situation. ECU Police Department's Office of Professional Standards is conducting an administrative internal investigation. Per department policy, the officer has been placed on investigatory leave pending the outcome of the internal investigation. That means the officer is not on our campus and is not currently performing police work.
- ECU is committed to bystander intervention education and training. Our focus is to have ECU students be able to “Stand, Speak and Act” on behalf of anyone.
Yet we also want to take this opportunity to condemn and reject race-based acts of hate and violence. There is no place for that at East Carolina. Those on our campus who might commit such acts can expect the fullest measure of prosecution, and if they are students face consequences through our student conduct process.