All Charges Against UVA Student Martese Johnson Dropped

Martese Johnson (center) and his lawyer, Daniel Watkins (right), walk to the Charlottesville District Court in Virginia before Johnson’s hearing March 26, 2015.
Zach Gibson/Getty Images

All charges against a University of Virginia student who was bloodied while being arrested by state liquor-control agents have been dropped, the Associated Press reports.

Martese Johnson told reporters that he was “ecstatic” that his charges, which included resisting arrest without force and public intoxication or swearing, were dismissed.


“I’ve always been passionate about social justice and the plight of minority communities in this country, but this took it to another level," Johnson said outside Charlottesville General District Court after the hearing, the newswire notes.

Johnson, originally from Chicago, was taken down by Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control agents outside a bar across the street from campus in March of this year. Photos and video of Johnson lying on his stomach, his forehead bloodied, immediately caught the attention of those on social media. The criticism his case drew caused Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe to order a state police investigation of the arrest.

The arresting officers will not face charges either, Commonwealth’s Attorney Dave Chapman said in a statement Thursday night, AP notes. Johnson, for his part, isn’t too upset that the officers were not charged, according to AP, because he thinks “society as a whole” is the root of the problem illustrated by his incident. He told reporters that it was not just race that played into his arrest but also the poor training and “over-militarization” of the police.

The arresting officers are still on desk duty, pending a separate state police administrative review of the encounter, AP notes.


Read more at U.S. News & World Report.

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