Activists call for federal investigation into Chicago native’s bloody Virginia arrest

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CHICAGO -- Members of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition are calling for a federal investigation into the arrest and beating of University of Virginia student and Chicago native Martese Johnson.

Members of operation PUSH feel the current state police investigation in Virginia is not enough; they want the Department of Justice to look into the incident and what they call a pattern of police brutality against young African-American men in the United States.

Cell phone video captured the bloody altercation in the early morning hours Wednesday, when uniformed alcohol control agents near the University of Virginia threw 20-year-old honor student Martese Johnson to the ground after he was denied entry into an Irish pub.

The officers described Johnson as agitated, belligerent and intoxicated, but Johnson and several friends with him said he did nothing wrong.

Members of operation PUSH say after the police involved shootings in Ferguson and New York -- -and now Johnson's case -- more needs to be done on a national level.

After student protests at U.Va., the school's president as well as the governor of Virginia called for a state police investigation into Johnson's arrest.

The former Kenwood Academy student needed 10 stitches, and sources close to the Johnson family say he went to the hospital Friday after his head began swelling.

The Alcohol Beverage Control special agents who arrested Johnson for public intoxication and obstruction of justice are now on administrative leave.


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