On early Wednesday morning, Virginia state Alcoholic Beverage Control agents arrested and bloodied a black University of Virginia undergraduate student. Martese Johnson, a 20-year-old junior at UVA, was charged with obstruction of justice without force and public swearing or intoxication. Johnson was denied entry to a bar near the UVA campus and was questioned by the state liquor agents. Johnson was thrown to the ground, suffering a head injury that required stitches.
Through a statement read by his lawyer, Johnson said that he was “shocked that my face was slammed into the brick pavement three blocks from where I attend school” and vowed to fight the charges that were brought against him. Johnson is a scholarship student at UVA and is a member of the school’s Honor Committee.
Following the arrest, students at UVA organized several protests and marches on the campus. Around 1000 students participated in a rally on Wednesday night, temporarily blocking some streets around the campus while demanding justice for Johnson. The Virginia State Police have begun an investigation into the matter.
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