A University of Virginia (UVA) student was savagely beaten and arrested Wednesday by police officers working with Virginia’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, because there was a discrepancy with his ID.
Martese Johnson, an honor student at the university was charged with “resisting arrest, obstructing justice without threats of force, and profane swearing or intoxication.” according to the University newspaper The Cavalier Daily.
However, the student was not accused of possessing false identification.
Police issued the following statement:
“The uniformed ABC Agents observed and approached the individual after he was refused entry to a licensed establishment,” the statement read. “A determination was made by the agents to further detain the individual based on their observations and further questioning. In the course of an arrest being made, the arrested individual sustained injuries. The individual received treatment for his injuries at a local hospital and was released.”
Reports indicate that Johnson’s head struck the pavement when police took him to the ground, leaving him needing ten stitches.
Witnesses say that Johnson, who has no previous criminal record, did nothing to deserve arrest or the beating he endured.
“It happened so quickly,” Fourth-year Education student Bryan Beaubrun said. “Out of nowhere I saw the two officers wrestling Martese to the ground. I was shocked that it escalated that quickly. Eventually [he was] on the ground, they’re trying to put handcuffs on him and their knees were on his back.”
Video footage of the aftermath of the incident was captured by onlookers:
Some students reportedly tried to stop the beating, prompting further arrests.
Because Johnson is black, and the officers are white, there were immediate allegations of racism. A student can be heard on the video shouting “How does this happen? How does this happen? You fucking racists. You fucking racists.”
The Black Student Alliance issued a statement condemning the police action, and comparing the incident to the cases of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.
Owing to the seriousness of the allegations, and “concerned by the reports of this incident,” Governor Terry McAuliffe has asked the Secretary of Public Safety to initiate an independent Virginia State Police investigation into the use of force.
Previous cases suggest that Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control police do not discriminate by race, but rather brutalize anyone they choose to, regardless of skin colour.
Last year a group of officers pointed guns at a white female, suspecting her of drinking alcohol. It turned out the drink was merely a bottle of sparkling water. The police were in plain clothing, prompting 20-year-old Elizabeth Daly to continue driving, scraping two of the officers during the incident. Daly was jailed on assault charges, which were dropped as soon as the story got media coverage. She has since filed a $40 million lawsuit.
Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.