Update: Martese Johnson Did Not Use A Fake ID, Attorney Says

Martese Johnson

Update: Martese Johnson Did Not Use A Fake ID, Attorney Says

The 20-year-old's bloody arrest was captured in viral video.

Published March 20, 2015

UPDATE 3/20/2015 11:30 a.m.

Martese Johnson was not trying to use a fake ID when he was arrested and beat down by Virginia Department of Alchohol Beverage Control officers on March 18, his lawyer Daniel Watkins said at a press conference Thursday. He presented his own ID to bouncers at the pub he was attempting to enter.

Johnson attended the press conference but did not speak. "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," he said through his attorney.


Another day, another hashtag calling for justice. Martese Johnson, a 20-year-old student at the University of Virginia, is the latest to face police brutality, as his head was left bloody by Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) officers who arrested him on March 18, ABC 7 reports. Johnson has been charged with public intoxication and obstruction of justice.

The incident was shown in a video that hit the Internet and the news spread over Wednesday night. Protests erupted on University of Virginia's campus, bringing out more than 1,000 people, including Johnson, who reportedly weeped during the demonstration, CBS19 reporter Stephon Dingle tweeted.

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.

"As students pleaded with officers to lift Martese from the ground, they were pushed away, and some were even handcuffed and threatened with possible arrest if they did not leave the scene," the statement continued.  

A statement from UVA professors said the incident was "wrong and should not have occurred."

The office of Gov. Terry McAuliffe is calling for an independent Virginia State Police investigation into the actions of the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control officers. UVA President Teresa Sullivan said she is working with the governor's office, the Charlottesville police chief and university police chief to drive action on what has become national news.  

"The safety and security of our students will always be my primary concern, and every member of our community should feel safe from the threat of bodily harm and other forms of violence," McAuliffe said in a statement.

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(Photo: ABC News7)

Written by Natelege Whaley


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