East Carolina University is investigating what a statement from the university calls a "brutal group beating" of a black man. The altercation between at least three white people and the man started off campus but ended on campus. The victim is not affiliated with the university, but one of those charged was a student until she was suspended on Thursday. East Carolina officials are also investigating why a university police officer, upon arriving at the scene, handcuffed the victim. The university says that the officer did not follow protocol in handcuffing the man, and the officer has been placed on leave.
"There is an additional concern we would like to mention," says the university statement. "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. 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."
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