Black UVA student beaten bloody by cops over fake ID [graphic photo]
A college kid trying to get into a bar with a fake ID doesn’t sound like an offense that warrants being beaten and bloodied by two police officers. It’s something every college kid has tried to do since both college and a legal drinking age existed. However that’s exactly what happened to third year University of Virginia student and Honor Committee member Martese Johnson who tried to enter Trinity Irish Pub in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Tuesday night.
“Martese was talking to the bouncer and there was some discrepancy about his ID,” UVA student Bryan Beaubrun 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.”
The disturbing picture below is the result of the force the two white ABC officerss used in detaining and arresting Johnson.
— Danaya: BuyTAAN331 (@danayasworld) March 18, 2015
The Cavalier Daily also obtained this video of Johnson’s arrest.
Johnson was held on charges of “resisting arrest, obstructing justice without threats of force, and profane swearing or intoxication in public” before being released on a $1,500 bond on Wednesday morning. However, eyewitnesses all seem to agree that Johnson was beaten by the police without putting up a fight or resisting arrest. According to reports, the officers continued to rough Johnson up despite him begging them to stop.
In the wake of the brutality employed in Johnson’s arrest, the Daily Cavalier reported that “University President Teresa Sullivan has put in a request to Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe to open an independent investigation into the incident…”
A letter from student organization Black Dot signed “Concerned Black Students” was also distributed in a mass email. Here are the contents via Jezebel:
This morning Martese Johnson emerged with a head injury requiring 10 stitches.
He was brutalized by Virginia ABC law enforcement outside of Trinity Irish Pub. His face was bloodied. His body was bruised.
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. He was left with his blood splattered on the pavement of University Avenue.
Today, we are reminded of the gruesome reality that we are not immune to injustice; as University students, we are not impervious to the brutality that has reeled on news cycles around the country. We have marched and shouted that we are Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, but the proximity of this morning’s brutality to a member of our community has deepened that wound. It is no longer happening only on national television—it is a reality here and now at the University of Virginia that we must face as a collective.
After Martese was denied entry to the bar, he found himself suddenly flung to the ground. The brutish force used resulted in his head and bodily injuries. His treatment was unprovoked as he did not resist questioning or arrest. In confusion, with blood painting his face and creating a pool on the bricks of the corner, he yelled out for mercy. 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.
As students pleaded with officers to lift Martese from the ground they were pushed away, and some were even handcuffed and threatened with possible arrest if they did not leave the scene.
We demand there be a swift and thorough investigation on the state, local, and University levels. We have seen what happens at the University when we allow problems we have long known exist to be handled quietly, so we will not be quiet. We demand noise from each other, noise from professors, noise from administrators. Martese, like any other student at this university, like any other person in this country and in this world, deserves more than our uproar: he deserves follow through and intentional action.
Look forward to a follow up email regarding further plans and actions.
Concerned Black Students
Johnson seems to be another victim in a brutal history of black men victimized by the people who are employed to protect him.