Statement from ECU Interim Chancellor Ron Mitchelson
June 1, 2020
On May 25, Mr. George Floyd died in police custody in Minneapolis. Since his wrongful death, emotions have run high across our country. And on Sunday, May 31, Greenville and East Carolina University experienced the local version of a national movement in direct response to the death of Mr. Floyd. To say the very least, these are challenging times as we all try to cope with injustice and crises. Emotions are running high with anger, grief and disappointment.
ECU is empathetic to the plight of those who suffer from bias and inequality as Mr. Floyd did. As a community, we aspire to embrace our differences as we value and respect every individual. We encourage our students to live purposeful lives and to serve as role models in our communities.
As a university community, we are deeply saddened by the lives senselessly taken and communities thrown into chaos across our country. The current national injury will take time and deliberative effort to heal. ECU is committed to participating in that healing. We remain vigilant in channeling our emotions to more positive ends and helping others to do the same.
As a university, we must rise to the challenge that this historic moment presents. Let this lead us to work together to be the change we want to see in our community.
-Interim Chancellor Ron Mitchelson
Statement from ECU Police Chief Jon Barnwell
May 31, 2020
What happened to George Floyd in Minnesota was wrong. What I saw on that video was sickening and in no way represents the values and principles of the men and women of the ECU Police Department and our university.
We want justice for the death of George Floyd. As law enforcement officers, we want those who disgrace our badge to be held accountable for their actions. Wearing a badge does not put us above the law. It puts us in a unique position to be a calming presence when others are facing challenges many of us will never know.
Know that we work every day to not only protect the ECU community but also to be an active and positive part of our community. We train to avoid the use of force whenever possible. We learn as much as we can about people and cultures different than our own so we can respond appropriately and with the compassion our line of work demands.
We are proud to serve the ECU community and pledge to continue to do our best to ensure our campus community is an inclusive, safe and welcoming place for all people.
-ECU Police Chief Jon Barnwell