March 19, 2015
There are multiple reports that third-year University of Virginia student Martese Johnson was brutally beaten by local law enforcement after trying to use a fake ID to enter Trinity Irish Pub Tuesday night, a local bar in Charlottesville.
According to the Cavalier Daily, officers said Johnson was “arrested on charges of resisting arrest, obstructing justice without threats of force, and profane swearing or intoxication in public.” Johnson, who is black, was held in jail overnight and released on a $1,500 bond Wednesday morning.
Reports circulating around the web, however, allege that, when confronted by local Alcoholic Beverage Control officers, Johnson did not resist arrest. Students at the scene claim officers proceeded to beat Johnson despite his cooperation and their pleas to stop.
“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.”
More info via Jezebel:
No incidents of prejudicial violence on this scale have occurred at the University of Virginia in recent memory, although the racial climate in Charlottesville is what you might expect from a relatively conservative institution founded by Thomas Jefferson. Graduate student Maya Hislop told me, “Black students on grounds are highly familiar with this kind of abuse (denied access to places, checking IDs of black students and not checking IDs of white students), but I do not know that it has ever been this violent.”
She added, “We knew that increased police presence for the protection of women would have a negative impact on black students. It sucks that we had to be proven right this way.”
Put another way: Johnson was beat for doing something that, as one Twitter user phrased it, “white kids do every weekend faithfully.”
And so it goes.
Source: Justice Gawker