A Greenville, N.C., university has launched an internal probe after one of its white officers reportedly handcuffed a black man who had been brutally beaten by four white people, CBS News reports.
The incident began off campus but spilled onto the campus of East Carolina University when the man, who was running from the beating, was caught and beaten again near a dining hall, according to a statement to students from university Chancellor Steve Ballard.
"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," Ballard said in his statement.
According to police, the March 17 incident started when the man, Patrick Myrick, allegedly hit a woman in the face and she fell to the ground, CBS News reports. Police say that several people then rushed up on Myrick and began beating him before chasing him as he ran away, and then beating him again. According to police, Myrick, who is black, suffered serious injuries and had to be taken to the hospital.
Three suspects, all white—Theresa Marie Lee, 25; Mack Humbles, 26; and Mark Privette, 33—were charged with felony assault inflicting bodily harm. Police were still looking for a fourth suspect.
"We are appalled by the brutality of the incident. We will have zero tolerance for allowing these kind of things on our campus," Ballard said during a press conference Thursday.
The university is reviewing the unidentified officer who handcuffed Myrick. However, authorities have said that the officer, who is currently on leave and not on campus, did not use any violence against Myrick.
According to the report, police could not charge Myrick with hitting the woman because they would have had to see the alleged incident take place for a misdemeanor charge.
Read more at CBS News.