A black University of Virginia student was brutally beaten by police over a ID discrepancy early Wednesday morning, ABC reports.
After 20-year-old Martese Johnson was denied entry into a bar on St. Patrick’s Day for allegedly trying to use a fake ID, Alcoholic Beverage Control agents approached him and decided to arrest him. During his arrest his injuries were sustained, according to officials. The ABC agency, who is enforces alcohol laws, would not reveal any other details around the arrest.
A smartphone video shows the UVA junior being detained by the agents as a bystander screams “His head is bleeding!” and Johnson shouts expletives while on the ground. “I go to UVA you f—-g racists!” he yelled.
I stand with Martese Johnson. There is no excuse for this. @VirginiaABC you should be ashamed. pic.twitter.com/4j3bnfDlBI
— UVAProblems (@UVAProbs) March 18, 2015
Students who witnessed the beating said that Johnson never resisted arrest and became injured when he was slammed into the ground. In a letter written by concerned students who witnessed this, they revealed that Johnson needed 10 stitches and described the officers’ behavior as “animalistic” and “insensitive.”
“After Martese was denied entry to the bar, he found himself suddenly flung to the ground, ” read the letter.”The brutish force used resulted in his head and bodily injuries. His treatment was unprovoked as he did not resist questioning or arrest. In confusion, with blood painting his face and creating a pool on the bricks of the corner, he yelled out for mercy. Though he lay bleeding and crying out, officers continued to hold him to the pavement, pinning him down, twisting his arm, with knees to his back until he was handcuffed.”
Johnson was charged with public intoxication and obstruction of justice. According to the ABC agency, Johnson was treated for his injuries at the UVA Hospital Emergency Department.
In a statement, Johnson’s lawyer Daniel P. Watkins revealed that Johnson is a double major studying Italian and Media Studies and is a member of the Eta Sigma chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
The violent arrested sparked a rally at UVA’s campus, which Johnson attended.
Martese Johnson in Attendance at the rally. He began to cry and wipe away tears as crowd cheers in support. @Newsplex pic.twitter.com/3Nh65h6sUb
— Stephon D##### CBS19 (@Stephon_Dingle) March 19, 2015
UVA president Teresa Sullivan released a statement about the incident.
“The safety and security of our students will always be my primary concern, and every member of our community should feel safe from the threat of bodily harm and other forms of violence,” Sullivan wrote. “Today, as U.Va. students, faculty, and staff who share a set of deeply held values, we stand unified in our commitment to seeking the truth about this incident. And we stand united in our belief that equal treatment and equal justice are among our fundamental rights under the law.”