Bloody arrest of UVA student from Chicago leads to investigation

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- A college student from Chicago was thrown to the ground and bloodied by alcohol agents at the University of Virginia - and it was all caught on camera.

Martese Johnson is a 2012 graduate of the Kenwood Academy.

He was stopped by a bouncer when he tried to enter a pub, and an agent pulled him aside.

When Johnson demanded that the agent let go of his arm, another agent joined in, and wrestled Johnson to the ground, leaving his face bloodied.

The agents say Johnson was profane and belligerent - but Johnson says he wasn't aggressive.

The agents seen in the video have been suspended while the incident is investigated.

Charlottesville General District Court records show that Johnson is charged with obstruction of justice without force and public swearing or intoxication. The Alcoholic Beverage Control agent who made the arrest, listed in court records as J. Miller, said in the arrest report that Johnson "was very agitated and belligerent."

A statement from a group calling itself "Concerned Black Students" claims the arrest of Johnson was unprovoked.

The Governor of Virginia Terry McAuliffe's office issued a statement asking state police to investigate "the use of force in this matter."

Students at Kenwood Academy remember Johnson as a excellent and well-liked student.

Sean Shelton said Johnson was his mentor in Kappa League, a program for student leaders.

"He wouldn't hurt a fly,"  Johnson said.


  • GaryW

    The guy was a drunken & foolish kid who decided to get drunk on St Pat’s Day! Stop playing the racist card and GROW UP!

    • Stu Pidasso

      Underage drinking is not someone who “doesn’t do anything wrong”. Look at the videos that kid, and I do mean kid, can’t handle the booze he’s not supposed to have. So intent to do wrong he got a fake ID , identity theft?, in order to facilitate his wrongdoing…..: he may not be a street thug, but he’s done 2-3 “wrongs” right there in the video!

  • Stephen

    Playing the race card every time something like this happens is getting old. Don’t argue with police and go home in one piece, black, white, brown or otherwise

  • JackR

    Obviously he was overly-intoxicated. However, him being ‘belligerent’ and swearing at agents is not a reason for them to slam his face into concrete. We have a real problem in this country with law enforcement that think someone disrespecting them gives them a right to harass, arrest, or beat a human being.
    Maybe some people are tired of the race card being played, but the rest of us are tired of seeing black youths treated so poorly by the infallible law enforcement agents.
    The agents escalated the situation more than Johnson did (which is the exact opposite of their job), and yet I doubt the people defending the agents would defend someone that attacked the agents the way they attacked Johnson.

Comments are closed.