Earlier this week, University of Virginia student Martese Johnson was violently beaten and left bloodied by agents of the state’s Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) unit near the campus. Johnson’s arrest was captured by onlookers of the incident and posted online, going viral in a matter of days.
The video shows the 20-year-old being beaten to the ground by the state agents as blood gushes down his face. An onlooker is also heard yelling at the state agents, pleading them to stop.
“What are y’all doing? Yo, his head is bleeding,” can be heard throughout the video.
Johnson himself is also heard repeatedly screaming at the police officers, seemingly shocked and in disbelief that this is even happening to him.
“I go to UVA! I go to UVA!” he says. “How did this happen, you f–cking racists? How does this happen?”
Johnson’s roommate, Joshua Kinlaw, believes the dispute started when the ABC officers checked his ID as he was attempting to enter one of the bars.
“I am aware that Martese does not own a fake ID,” Kinlaw said. “So the ID that he actually showed to both the bouncer and to the ABC officers was his real ID. Now because the age on that ID shows him to be 20 years old, I think that’s when dispute and discrepancies came in.”
The incident has caused an uproar throughout the school, resulting in various protests by UVA students. The Twitter hashtag #JusticeForMartese has also gone viral, with many users accusing the police officers’ intentions as yet another racist brutality case.
Virginia’s governor has ordered an investigation into Johnson’s arrest.