UVA Honors Student Martese Johnson
A popular undergraduate honors student and leader at the University of Virginia, Martese Johnson, was brutally assaulted by law enforcement near the campus very early Wednesday morning.
Witnesses said that Martese, a part of a huge crowd of UVA students, was denied entry to the Trinity Irish Pub by a bouncer and was immediately slammed face first on to the ground by law enforcement. According to witnesses he never resisted arrest or questioning and never fought the officers the entire time. As they smashed Martese up against the concrete, he can be heard telling them that he is a UVA student and that what they are doing is racist.
Governor Terry McAuliffe called for an immediate investigation into this brutality, but the anger and frustration over it is building quickly.
A video filmed by bystanders has been released and can be seen below the fold.
Earlier on Wednesday, the University of Virginia issued this very strong letter
condemning the assault on Martese in no uncertain terms as "brutality," "wrong," "excessive," and said that it "should not have occurred."
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
We are outraged by the brutality against a University of Virginia undergraduate student that occurred in the early hours Wednesday, March 18, 2015. This African American male student was injured on the Corner, after being stopped by Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) officers. His head was slammed into the hard pavement with excessive force. The student required medical evaluation and treatment at the UVa Hospital Emergency Department. This was wrong and should not have occurred. In the many years of our medical, professional and leadership roles at the University, we view the nature of this assault as highly unusual and appalling based on the information we have received.
This incident is now being handled at the highest level of the University and the State of Virginia. We have spoken with student leaders and are sensitive to the collective remorse and reactions of the University and community. We are asking everyone to exercise sound judgment and discretion, as we seek to protect the student's rights and privacy. The Office for Diversity and Equity and the Office of African-American Affairs (OAAA) are available to provide support. This evening, the Office of African-American Affairs (OAAA) will be open until 8:00 pm to provide support. As we wait to learn more about what happened last night, please know you can call us to talk about this situation and your concerns.
Violence against an individual, no matter the color of his or her skin, gender, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation, is inexcusable and appalling. If you are the victim of bias, racism, hazing, or sexual misconduct please report the incident to the Just Report It system. Our students have the right to a safe environment in which to obtain their education. We are deeply concerned about the safety of all students, faculty, staff, and community members.
Marcus L. Martin, M.D.,
Vice President for Diversity & Equity
Professor of Emergency Medicine
Maurice Apprey, Ph.D., D.M., FIPA,
Dean, African-American Affairs
Professor of Psychiatry
Stay tuned for more details on this awful brutality.