The Arrest Of Martese Johnson, A Black UVA Student, Shows A Graphic Confrontation With Police — VIDEO
Citizen journalism has yet again captured video of a graphic police arrest. Shot by a cell phone and uploaded on YouTube, the video shows the arrest of Martese Johnson, a black University of Virginia student. Blood covers the 20-year-old's face as onlookers attempt to point out Johnson's injuries to Alcohol and Beverage Control authorities making the arrest. The footage has spurred Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe to ask state police to investigate, BuzzFeed reports.
In the explicit video, a bystander yells at Virginia ABC, "He's bleeding! Yo, his head is bleeding!" The video later cuts to Johnson lying face down and in cuffs. He screams at authorities holding him down, "I go to UVA! ... How did this happen? You f***ing racists!" The video does not show what led to the incident.
A statement from UVA's Black Student Alliance said Johnson required 10 stitches on his head (you can see a photo of his injuries here). The student group claims Johnson was "suddenly flung to the ground" after he was denied entry to Trinity Irish Pub, a bar close to UVA campus.
We have marched and shouted that we are Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, but the proximity of this morning’s brutality to a member of our community has deepened that wound. It is no longer happening only on national television — it is a reality here and now at the University of Virginia that we must face as a collective.
In a statement, Virginia ABC said Johnson was arrested for public intoxication and obstruction of justice after he was refused entry to an Irish pub. The incident took place around 12:45 a.m. Wednesday in the 1500 block of University Avenue adjacent to UVA campus. According to Virginia ABC, Johnson was taken to a local hospital for injuries sustained during the arrest and was then released.
Virginia ABC is restricting the special agents involved in the incident to administrative duties while the investigation is underway.
ABC officials in Charlottesville, Virginia, have been known to rely on heavy-handed tactics when making arrests, according to ABC News. In July, Elizabeth Daly, a white UVA female, received a $212,500 settlement from the state of Virginia after ABC agents mistook her case of water for beer.
Johnson's arrest has spurred the resurgence of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on social media. The race awareness movement first began after Florida neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman was acquitted for fatally shooting Trayvon Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old black teenager who was passing through Zimmerman's neighborhood at night. The hashtag specifically gained momentum after the shooting of Michael Brown and the death of Eric Garner.