Ear Hustle

Virginia Governor Calling For Investigation After African American College Student Beaten For Alleged Public Intoxication By Police

Martese Johnson

Photo Credit: Bryan Beaubrun

Virginia’s governor is asking for an investigation into how a college student ended up bloodied during an arrest outside of a bar early Wednesday morning.

Martese Johnson, a junior at University of Virginia, was arrested on charges of obstruction of justice without force, and public swearing or intoxication after being denied entry to a campus-area bar.

Governor Terry McAuliffe’s office released a statement Wednesday that called for state police to examine ‘the use of force’ by liquor control officers.

In a video obtained by The Cavalier Daily, a bystander shouts that Johnson’s head is bleeding and Johnson is heard yelling: ‘I go to UVA. You fuckin’ racists. … How did this happen?’

A group called Concerned Black Students circulated a statement saying that Johnson did not resist during questioning or his arrest outside of Trinity Irish Pub and received 10 stitches in his head after the arrest.

McAuliffe is ‘concerned by the reports of this incident,’ according to the statement from his office requesting the outside probe.

Johnson’s attorney Daniel Watkins said in a statement ABC officers hauled Johnson to the ground, ‘striking his head on the pavement and causing him to bleed profusely from the gash on his head.’

‘The uniformed ABC Agents observed and approached the individual after he was refused entry to a licensed establishment,’ Virginia ABC stated in a press release.

‘A determination was made by the agents to further detain the individual based on their observations and further questioning.’

Johnson serves on the Honor Committee at University of Virginia, is a member of the historically black Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity and serves as leadership development chair of the UVA Black Student Alliance.

According to Charlottesville General District Court records, Johnson was charged with obstruction of justice without force, and public swearing or intoxication, Huffington Post reports.

He was treated at the hospital before being released

The ABC told the Associated Press that the agents involved have been placed in an administrative capacity for the remainder of the state police investigation.

This isn’t the first time that ABC agents working in Charlottesville, where UVA’s campus is located, have been called out for overreach.

In 2014, a UVA student was awarded a $212,500 settlement by the state after officers confused her groceries for beer.

Elizabeth Daly panicked outside of a supermarket in 2013 when plainclothes ABC agents tried to break her windows, mistaking a carton of sparkling water for beer.

The arrest proved to be a black eye for the agency and led to a public backlash, though the charges were later dropped.

Source: Daily Mail

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