The University of Virginia student who was left bloodied and injured after a violent March arrest is now suing the state’s Alcohol Beverage Control department.
On March 18, then-20-year-old UVA honors student Martese Johnson was violently arrested by Virginia ABC agents who claimed that the college sophomore was attempting to enter a bar using a fake ID. Johnson was brutally tackled to the ground, and officers slammed his face into the ground as they kneeled on his back. Johnson, who had to receive 10 stitches in his head, was arrested and charged with resisting arrest, obstructing justice without threats of force and profane swearing or public intoxication.
“The positive takeaway from this lawsuit is that this issue is being discussed and the interaction between police and citizens being question,” Johnson’s lawyer, Daniel Watkins, told The Guardian.
After video of Johnson’s arrest went viral, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed an order restricting ABC agents’ enforcement power. However, none of the officers involved have been reprimanded for their actions.