Martese Johnson, a third-year University of Virginia student, was arrested around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, during what some are calling a controversial arrest.
The Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity brother and Honor Committee member was arrested in front of Trinity Irish Pub by Alcohol and Beverage Control special agent J. Miller, reports The Cavalier Daily. Johnson was charged with resisting arrest, obstructing justice without threats of force, and profane swearing or intoxication in public.
Miller’s arrest record notes that Johnson “was very agitated and belligerent but [has] no previous criminal history.” However, many students who witnessed the incident say the arrest was unwarranted.
The picture of Johnson’s bloodied face that began circulating on social media Wednesday was sent in an email from Black Dot signed “Concerned Black Students.” The head wound reportedly required 10 stitches to close.
What video of the incident below. Warning: Explicit language and violent content.
“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,” the email said. “He was left with his blood splattered on the pavement of University Avenue.”
The altercation allegedly began after a bouncer at the pub refused to except Johnson’s I.D. and denied him entry.
“Martese was talking to the bouncer and there was some discrepancy about his I.D.,” Bryan Beaubrun, who claims to have witnessed the exchange, told The Cavalier Daily. “[An] ABC officer approaches Martese and grabs him by the elbow…and pulls him to the side.”
It happened so quickly. 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.
Given the shocking images and the witness accounts stating that Johnson was not resisting questioning or arrest, the Black Dot email, as well as many users on social media, are calling for investigations by state, local and university officials.
Black Dot is hosting an event at the Clark Library on Wednesday at 8 P.M. for students to “express…feelings and concerns about this and [their] own experiences.”
Student Council President Jalen Ross told publication that University President Teresa Sullivan contacted Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, requesting a state investigation be opened.