Graphic video shows UVA student brutalized at the hands of liquor agents.
Early Wednesday morning (March 18), 20-year old Martese Johnson, who is a student at the University of Virginia was bloodied during an encounter with state Alcoholic Beverage Control agents or ABC. A video surfaced online of Johnson being pinned down by agents with a pool of blood streaming down his face. In the video, Johnson can be heard shouting at the agents, calling them racists, while onlookers asked whether that amount of force was warranted.
The incident occurred outside of a local pub less than a mile from the campus. The video does not show the events that led up to the arrest but an early report which proved to be false claimed that Johnson was stopped due to a fake ID. According to a statement issued by the Virginia ABC, the young man was approached after he was denied entry into the bar. It is at this point the details stop.
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe issued a statement and called for an open investigation into the matter.
“Governor McAuliffe is concerned by the reports of this incident and has asked the Secretary of Public Safety to initiate an independent Virginia State Police investigation into the use of force in this matter,” the statement read.
The Virginia ABC has stated that the the arresting agents have been assigned to administrative duties pending the investigation. This of course has done nothing to quell the outrage that has surrounded the school and community. The university’s Black Student Alliance has called a meeting in order for members to constructively express their concerns. Daniel Watkins, Johnson’s attorney, also issued a statement detailing the events from his clients perspective.
Just before handcuffing him, police took Martese to the ground, striking his head on the pavement,” the statement read. “I have spoken to him several times today, and he is absolutely devastated by yesterday’s events. Currently, we are preparing to investigate and defend this matter vigorously.
The court records from the incident show that Johnson was arrested on two misdemeanor charges of obstructing justice without force, public swearing and intoxication.
— Mike Valerio (@MikeNBC12) March 19, 2015
So obstructing justice without force gets this result? – @Rocko_CNK