Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has called for state police to investigate an arrest of a Black student from the University of Virginia who was allegedly bloodied and bruised Wednesday morning by White officers from the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. Witnesses have told various news outlets that the altercation was unprovoked.
The student, identified as 20-year-old junior Martese Johnson, was arrested outside the Trinity Irish Pub in Charlottesville after trying unsuccessfully to gain entrance following a dispute about his identification card. Johnson was charged with public intoxication and obstruction of justice.
Video of the incident showing Johnson lying on the ground with a bloody head injury has been posted on social media sites. In a post to its Facebook page, Virginia ABC said the officers involved in the incident have been placed on administrative duty.
UVA President Teresa A. Sullivan has asked that witnesses contact authorities.
“We have not yet clarified all of the details surrounding this event, but we are seeking to do so as quickly as possible,” she said.
The school’s Black Student Alliance (BSA) said Johnson was unnecessarily “brutalized” and injured by officers.
Johnson, double majoring in Italian and media studies, holds several leadership positions on campus. His attorney, Daniel P. Watkins, says Johnson does not have a criminal record.