ABC Agents Who Arrested UVA Student Martese Johnson Won’t Face Charges, Return to Job

Stephen A. Crockett Jr.
This photo of Martese Johnson shortly before his arrest March 18, 2015, went viral. Johnson claimed Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control agents beat him bloody. The agents claimed Johnson fell during the arrest. The agents have now been cleared of wrongdoing.

Three agents with the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control involved in the arrest of a 20-year-old college student have been returned to active duty after an investigation concluded that they "did not violate agency policy," the Associated Press reports.

Bloody photos of University of Virginia student Martese Johnson went viral after he was reportedly beaten and arrested March 18 outside a bar near campus. Johnson claimed that officers violently arrested him for reasons unknown, while agents claimed that Johnson reportedly tried to use a fake ID and hit his head after he fell to the ground.


Johnson faced misdemeanor charges of public swearing and resisting arrest, both of which were dropped by Commonwealth's Attorney Dave Chapman. Chapman added that he did not plan to pursue charges against the agents.

According to AP, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe ordered Virginia State Police to investigate the incident, and the report was completed about two weeks ago.

"After thoroughly reviewing the incident and the report, Virginia ABC concluded that the agents did not violate agency policy and returned these special agents to active duty today," the ABC said in a news release Monday.

The agency also noted that it wouldn't be commenting on the details of the case and that "Virginia law prohibits disclosure of personnel files," AP reports.


The agents, who had been on desk duty since the incident, were placed on active duty Monday.

Read more at ABC 7 Chicago.

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