Martese Johnson beaten by police Martese Johnson after the attack Martese with lawyer and his mother
We’re all so tired of hearing about yet another black male attacked by police. It’s the same old story. The reporting is always the same ending with an investigation. We all know the usual that leads to the benefit of the police officers involved. Not this time. The governor of Virginia has ordered the Virginia State Police to investigate the bloody arrest of a black third-year student at the University of Virginia by Alcoholic Beverage Control agents outside a Charlottesville bar.
Problem is that they had no idea that the young man they jumped was from Chicago where uppity Black folks live. That’s right, Chicago where educated Blacks with college degrees, careers, positions, power and will go to bat to protect the interest of Martese Johnson who was wrongfully attacked.
Martese Johnson, 20, a member of the Honor Committee at the Charlottesville school, was arrested around 12:45 a.m. Wednesday and charged with public intoxication and obstruction of justice, according to student newspaper The Cavalier Daily and the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.
Video and photos from the arrest show Johnson on the ground with his face and shirt covered in blood as agents hold him down. The incident went viral Wednesday afternoon with dozens of people writing #MarteseJohnson and #BlackLivesMatter on social media.
Johnson can be heard on video yelling that he was a UVA student. “How did this happen, you (bleeping) racists!” Johnson screams.
Johnson received 10 stitches to close a gash on his head.
On Wednesday night, a rally in support of Johnson drew about 1,000 students — including Johnson.
“We are one community,” Johnson told the crowd. “We deserve to respect each other, especially in times like this.”
In a statement Thursday read to reporters by his attorney, Johnson denied ABC agents’ claim that he presented a fake ID to try to get into the Trinity Irish Pub, where ABC agents were monitoring the St. Patrick’s Day crowd for under-age drinkers. He said he showed ABC agents an Illinois identification.
Johnson’s statement said he was “shocked that my face was slammed into the brick pavement three blocks from where I attend school.”
“I trust that the scars on my face and head will heal but the trauma from what the ABC officers did will stay with me forever,” said Johnson, who did not speak or take questions at the brief appearance at the city’s downtown mall. “I still believe in our community. I know this community will support me during this time.”
His attorney, Daniel Watkins, said they would fight the charges “with utmost vigor.”
The special agents involved in Johnson’s arrest have been assigned to administrative duties while the investigation is underway, the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control said in a statement.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s office announced it is monitoring the case.
“Governor McAuliffe is concerned by the reports of this incident and has asked the Secretary of Public Safety to initiate an independent Virginia State Police investigation into the use of force in this matter,” a statement said. “The governor’s office has been in contact with University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan and local law enforcement and will continue to monitor this situation closely as the investigation proceeds.”
Virginia State Police Superintendent Col. W. Steven Flaherty said a thorough investigation “will take time.”
“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,” he said Thursday. “We appreciate the public’s patience as we move through the investigative process in the coming weeks.”