Martese Johnson, a 20-year-old student from the University of Virginia or UVA, was attacked outside a bar by alcohol-control officers. The assailants attacked the student when he failed to tell the correct ZIP code for the address on the Illinois license he presented.
Johnson is a third-year honors student who serves as leadership development chairman for the university’s Black Student Alliance.
He was accused of obstruction of justice without force and public intoxication or swearing. His wounds required 10 stitches.
However, in a statement released by the Trinity Irish Pub on Saturday night, Johnson “did not appear to be intoxicated in the least.” It also said that the staff was never “belligerent” toward Johnson, contrary to what was initially reported.
A Breathalyzer test conducted on Johnson revealed he was not intoxicated.
Trinity Irish Pub co-owner Kevin Badke said in an interview, “He was just disappointed he didn’t get in. He was just acting like a normal college kid.
“It was very cordial. I actually asked him what high school he went to.”
The attack instigated protests and accusations of racial crime and police brutality. Pictures and a video of the bloody incident flooded social media and have triggered student protests. Virginia State Police will be investigating the issue.
In its defense, Trinity Irish Pub also said that the Charlottesville bar and restaurant “does not nor has it ever discriminated on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin.”
According to USA Today, in a statement released by Johnson’s lawyer, Martese said he was “shocked that my face was slammed into the brick pavement three blocks from where I attend school.
“I trust that the scars on my face and head will heal but the trauma from what the ABC officers did will stay with me forever. I still believe in our community. I know this community will support me during this time.”
In light of the outrage caused by the event, Police Chief Timothy Longo emphasized the importance of sensitivity towards race.
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