Virginia State Police To Investigate Black UVA Student's Brutal Arrest; Student Issues Statement
The Black University of Virginia student who was brutally beaten by Alcohol Beverage Control agents this week has issued a statement.
At a press conference, 20-year-old UVA junior Martese Johnson had his lawyer Daniel P. Watkins read his prepared statement. Johnson says he did not have a fake identification card and the discrepancy occurred when the bouncer asked him to recite the zip code on his card and he said a different one that was not on the card.
“I’m shocked that my face was slammed into the brick pavement just across the street from where I attend school," Watkins read. “Three officers then pinned me to the ground, pressing their knees in my back while blood flowed freely from the gash to my head. As the officers held me down, one thought raced through my mind, ‘How could this happen?' My head lay bloody but unbowed. I still believe in our community. I know this community will support me during this time. I trust the scars on my face and head will one day heal. But the trauma from what the ABC officers did yesterday will stay with me forever. I believe we as a community are better than this. We cannot allow the actions of a few officers to ruin the community of trust we have worked so hard to build.”
[ALSO READ: Black UVA Student Beaten By Police (VIDEO)]
While trying to enter popular bar Trinity Irish Pub on St. Patrick's Day, Johnson was pulled out of the line when the bouncer thought his ID card was fake. He was then approached by the ABC agents and thrown into the pavement, which would cause the massive gash on his head that bled profusely as he was apprehended. Johnson received 10 stitches and charged with public intoxication and obstruction of justice.
The Virginia governor has ordered that this brutal arrest be investigated by the Virginia State Police, USA Today reports.
"We owe it to both Mr. Johnson and the Virginia ABC to be painstakingly thorough in determining the facts of the situation through interviews, evidence collection and analysis, and investigative procedure," said Virginia State Police Superintendent Col. W. Steven Flaherty on Thursday. "We appreciate the public's patience as we move through the investigative process in the coming weeks."