Local News

SBI files report on police force at ECU football game

Posted November 14, 2008

— Prosecutors say the State Bureau of Investigation has started to deliver a report on the confrontations between law enforcement officers and some East Carolina University football fans earlier this season.

District Attorney Clark Everett told the Greenville Daily Reflector that he received the first portion of the SBI's investigative report Wednesday.

Fans rushed the field Sept. 6 after the Pirates defeated then-No. 8 West Virginia 24-3. Video showed fans being knocked to the ground by some officers and the university received complaints about police brutality on the field.

Lenoir County Sheriff Billy Smith cleared one of his deputies of any wrongdoing after an internal investigation. The unidentified deputy was seen on a video beating a fan, but Smith said the use of force was justified because the deputy was assisting other officers who were trying to restrain the fan.

In addition to Lenoir County deputies, ECU police were assisted at the game by officers from the Greenville, Winterville and Kinston police departments and by sheriff's deputies from Pitt County.

ECU officials said they would no longer use officers from law enforcement agencies outside Pitt County to provide security at games.

Everett said it will likely be weeks before he can draw any conclusions from the SBI's work.

45 Comments

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  • oldcorp Nov 14, 2008

    As a recently retired LEO, none of this surprises me. I spent several years working west Raleigh and helping raise a couple of generations of NCSU college kids. I've heard the same garbage spouted by people like 'gratefultogod' too many times. In a nutshell, most parents believe that their little Buffy or Skip can do no wrong. And as an LEO, you're viewed as a needed, but unwanted servant, too remain invisible unless called. Even campus shootings seem not to have changed that attitude. You couldn't get me to work one of those games, it's a stacked deck.

  • leo-nc Nov 14, 2008

    "most law enforcement officers were picked on as kids.. so they are taking their frustrations out on people.. when they in reality --need therapy! The majority.. never went to a university, know what a college football game is about, social structure etc. They are just " looking for a fight!" THANK YOU ECU for NOT hiring them to future games. They cause more problems than help! NO I AM NOT A KID>> I AM 48.. an ECU graduate and am not impressed with the Kinston Police Force!"--

    Wow, so when those LEO's are in the military they are great, but when they become a police officer, all of the sudden they were picked on as a kid.

    You've got issues.

  • gratefultoGOD Nov 14, 2008

    most law enforcement officers were picked on as kids.. so they are taking their frustrations out on people.. when they in reality --need therapy! The majority.. never went to a university, know what a college football game is about, social structure etc. They are just " looking for a fight!" THANK YOU ECU for NOT hiring them to future games. They cause more problems than help! NO I AM NOT A KID>> I AM 48.. an ECU graduate and am not impressed with the Kinston Police Force!

  • sandhillsk9 Nov 14, 2008

    I hope every one who talks about police brutallity take his kids to games like this and brings his kids in danger ... I would like to hear the people cry for help from LAW officers .. and gues what There will be no officer for helping or protecting ....broken bones and black eyes... reminds me on 10 years ago in europa .. when soccer was played only for TV.

  • WRAL is joe_dirt Nov 14, 2008

    No. That's what you just said.

    As a leo, your opinion is biased and therefore, cannot be objective as evidenced by your original statement, "everyone hates us (leo's)"

    I stand in the middle, where the professional training I've received teachs me to stand.

  • leo-nc Nov 14, 2008

    "I think the bottom line in all this discussion has been identification of non-professional actions of an attempt control a crowd vs. allowing the students to briefly vent their excitement"----

    Ahhhh yes, so now it comes out. So what you're saying is that the crime of trespassing and putting lives in danger by rushing the field is actually just a brief vent of excitement. Oh, and assaulting officers and spitting on them, also just a brief vent of excitement. NOW we know where you really stand. ;)

  • Common Sense Man Nov 14, 2008

    So they are reporting that there is no news to report for a few weeks. Nice!

  • WRAL is joe_dirt Nov 14, 2008

    I think the bottom line in all this discussion has been identification of non-professional actions of an attempt control a crowd vs. allowing the students to briefly vent their excitement. When the university chose to outsource a "presence" of law enforcement, they usually don't hire the best but the most economical. So there you have it.

    Example: if you were looking to hire someone to care for your children, I would assume you are looking to secure someone of a professional nature to ensure professional results.

    If these leo's were professionals, they sure didn't show it.

  • leo-nc Nov 14, 2008

    "I don't remember a law being made stopping fans from rushing the football field so don't blame the fans who were doing nothing more than peacefully celebrating."--

    It's called Trespassing. ESPECIALLY since the students were told not to rush the field. I agree with the first response to your post in that this is NOT part of college football. It's dangerous, stupid and can cause a wide range of injuries to the students, the police and the players. Take a good look at the video and look at how some of these kids are jumping the wall. That in and of itself it dumb and dangerous.

  • drnc Nov 14, 2008

    Rushing the field is NOT part of college football. ECU was fined by Conference USA and could lose the opportunity to host any championship games because of this fiasco. Fans on the field are a danger to themselves, the players and staff.

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