Black UVA Student Bloodied by Police
Chanting “Black Lives Matter,” 300 University of Virginia students marched Wednesday night for fellow student Martese Johnson who was recently beaten in an altercation with Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control officers over using a fake ID.
A college student using a fake ID usually begins and ends with the bouncer ripping it up and sending you on your way, but Johnson received a much harsher lesson. News spread Wednesday that officers allegedly beat and bloodied Johnson, a third-year student at UVA, after he tried to use a fake ID to get into Trinity Irish Pub, a local bar in Charlottesville, Tuesday night.
Officers claimed Johnson resisted arrest, but students there saw otherwise, saying Johnson did not and that the police overreacted over their cries for them to stop the assault.
“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.”
Johnson, who was at last night’s march and reportedly still bore the marks of his beating, thanked the UVA community for supporting him.
“This University opened me up,” Johnson said to students during the rally. “You being here is the reason why I still believe in the community of trust even with a busted head standing here on this stage.”
College kids using fake IDs, partying, being drunk and getting into mischief is normal, but somehow when a black student does it, he ends up beaten and bloodied, as evidenced in this photo circulating on Twitter of the incident below:
— Danaya: BuyTAAN331 (@danayasworld) March 18, 2015
According to the Cavalier Daily, Johnson was “arrested on charges of resisting arrest, obstructing justice without threats of force, and profane swearing or intoxication in public.” Johnson ended up spending a night in jail, then was released on a $1,500 bond the following morning.
Martese Johnson is a highly involved student at the University of Virginia: an Italian and Media Studies major who plans on going into business, a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity (a historically black frat), a leadership development chair in the Black Student Association; he was also a leader in the major student governing body (the Honor Committee). Sources tell me he was also an IMP: a member of a prestigious semi-secret society, one of three major secret societies on grounds.
Students on campus are currently calling for an investigation of the incident. The governor’s office released a statement saying they would contact the Secretary of Public Safety to perform an independent Virginia State Police investigation.