Martese Johnson is a University of Virginia (UVA) honor student with no criminal record. But getting good grades and behaving himself didn’t prevent him from being beaten bloody and arrested by Virginia’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. The VDABC is the agency which enforces the state’s alcohol laws.
But all who witnessed the beating say that Johnson was “brutalized” by officers. Photos of the incident seem to confirm that, and then some…
“Outside of the doors of Trinity Irish Pub, a mass of University students bore witness to the officer’s animalistic, insensitive, and brute handling of Martese,” UVA’s Black Student Alliance said in a statement. “He was left with his blood splattered on the pavement of University Avenue.”
“It happened so quickly,” Bryan Beaubrun, a student witness 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.”
Some students tried to stop the beating, but for their troubles, they weretold to leave, and some were arrested.
“His treatment was unprovoked as he did not resist questioning or arrest,” the BSA statement added. “Though he lay bleeding and crying out, officers continued to hold him to the pavement, pinning him down, twisting his arm, with knees to his back until he was handcuffed.”
A video of the incident clearly shows Johnson being brutalized, and yelling “I go to UVA, you fucking racists,” as they beat and cuffed him.
But, Martese Johnson’s roommate says that this was not about a fake ID, because Johnson was using his real ID. According to Joshua Kinlaw, Johnson doesn’t even own a fake ID.
Kinlaw told local ABC News that “there is nothing he could’ve said or done that could provoke an officer of the law to assault him in such a manner.”
“I am aware that Martese does not own a fake ID,” Kinlaw said, explaining that he simply tried to enter a bar, using his real ID.
“The ID that he actually showed to both the bouncer and to the ABC [Alcoholic Beverage Control] officers was his real ID. Now because the age on that ID shows him to be 20 years old, I think that’s when dispute and discrepancies came in,” Kinlaw added.
Johnson 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,” Johnson, said in a statement read by his attorney, Daniel Watkins.
Watkins confirmed that there was never any fake ID.
“At no point during the encounter … did Martese present a fake ID,” Watkins explained.
(Article by M. David)