Congressman G. K. Butterfield (NC-01) Thursday released the following statement urging District Attorney Kimberly Robb to release surveillance video footage showing the on-campus assault of 26-year old Patrick Myrick on March 17, 2016:
“Over the past several weeks, I have received numerous communications from constituents residing in Pitt County who have an interest in the ongoing cases involving the brutal beating of Mr. Patrick Myrick. It is my understanding that the brutal beating of Mr. Myrick at the hands of several men was captured by a state-of-the-art video system on the campus of East Carolina University (ECU). I was also informed that ECU authorities released the video to the Pitt County District Attorney, but she refuses to allow the video to be seen by the media and the general public.
“There is considerable disapproval in the Pitt County community regarding the DA’s refusal to release the video for public viewing. The community deserves the right to view the video which will be the best evidence of the severity of these assaults. By withholding the video, there is weakening public confidence in the assurance that the cases will be fairly and vigorously prosecuted.
“While I recognize that the video is evidence in these cases, and, when released, will engender discussion among citizens regarding their individual opinions, release of the video is necessary to give the public access to preliminary facts while a full and fair investigation into this matter takes place. The public has an immediate right to know whether possible hate crimes are being perpetuated in their community. When other jurisdictions across the county have experienced hate-related crimes, videos are immediately made available to the general public as a moral imperative.
“I urge the immediate release of the video for citizens to view, allowing them to reach their own individual conclusions about whether these cases are racially motivated and deserving of additional scrutiny. I am today forwarding a letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch requesting a determination of whether the assaults were racially motivated thereby granting possible federal jurisdiction and prosecution pursuant to Federal Hate Crimes law (18 U.S. Code §249).”
The full text of the letter is attached.