There Was No Justification for Martese Johnson's Arrest, Lawyer Says

There Was No Justification for Martese Johnson's Arrest, Lawyer Says

A lawyer for Martese Johnson said there was no justification for his arrest after reviewing a police report completed by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage.

Published May 6, 2015

A lawyer for Martese Johnson said there was no justification for his arrest after reviewing a recent police report completed by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage. The 20-year-old student was charged with public intoxication even though police did not think he was drunk, the Richmond Free Press reports.

The Virginia ABC's report has been turned over to Charlottesville attorney Dave Chapman, who is reviewing it.

The bloody March 18 arrest of the University of Virginia student sparked outrage on social media after a video of the incident spread around the Internet and resulted in a protest bringing out more than 1,000 people. Police suspected he was using a fake ID to enter a pub, but he presented his own ID to bouncers that night.  

“We have already reviewed the reports from the arresting ABC agents and the local police on the scene, and our position remains that the (agents) lacked legal justification to arrest or brutalize young Martese,” said Johnson's attorney Daniel Watkins of the Williams Mullen law firm. 

Johnson was out and about around 12:45 a.m. Wednesday and reportedly attempted to use a fake ID to enter Trinity Irish Pub in Charlottesville, Va. When he was denied entry, officers approached him to make an arrest. A police report says Johnson "was very agitated and belligerent." But officers used enough force to leave Johnson's face bloody, and he was taken to a hospital where he was treated for his injuries.

"Though he 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," a statement released by "Concerned Black Students" read.

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(Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Written by Natelege Whaley

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