by CAMILLE PANGGAT
The arrest of African American, University of Virginia student, Martese Johnson by officers of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has again sparked the issue on police brutality. Johnson, who has had no previous criminal history and holds many leadership positions in UVA, was arrested outside of the Trinity Irish Pub in the early hours of Wednesday, March 18, for public swearing and obstruction of justice. Videos and photos have since gone viral, showing Johnson on the ground with blood all over his face.
Johnson’s attorney, Daniel Watkins, said that his client was approached by ABC officers, questioning him about possessing a fake ID. He says that “Just before handcuffing him, police took Martese to the ground, striking his head on the pavement and causing him to bleed profusely from the gash on his head.” Johnson needed ten stitches for the wound he obtained during the arrest.
Numerous students of difference races from UVA then protested Wednesday night against the brutality shown to Johnson. Furthermore, University President, Teresa Sullivan has asked the governor for an investigation of the incident saying that the UVA, “stand[s] unified in [their] commitment to seeking the truth about this incident,” She says that “we stand united in our belief that equal treatment and equal justice are among our fundamental rights under the law.”
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has since called for an investigation by the state police to determine whether or not the ABC officers used excessive force in the arrest. There is now both an ongoing criminal investigation and an ongoing administrative review.