A third-year African American student at the University of Virginia sustained multiple injuries after police officers wrestled him to the ground for carrying a fake ID.
Early Wednesday morning, Martese Johnson was arrested after he tried to enter Trinity Irish Pub with a fake photo ID. One witness, Bryan Beaubrun, alleges that Alcohol and Beverage Control Officer J. Miller approached Johnson soon after the bartender denied Johnson entry, and forcefully grabbed him by the elbow. A second officer helped shove Johnson to the ground. The student, who has a list of leadership roles at the university, later required 10 head stitches.
A letter circulated by Black Dot, a student organization, alleges “[Johnson] 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.” The letter, which was signed Concerned Black Students, was attached to a photo of Johnson covered in blood in officer custody. The group also claims that officers threatened to arrest bystanders who asked for Johnson to be taken off the ground.
Watch a video of the arrest here:
According to a police report obtained by Cavalier Daily, one of the campus newspapers, Johnson was “arrested on charges of resisting arrest, obstructing justice without threats of force, and profane swearing or intoxication in public.” He was released on $1500 bail, and UVA President Teresa Sullivan has since requested an independent investigation by Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
ThinkProgress reached out to the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control for comment. We will update this post with their comment if they provide it.