The owner of a bar where University of Virginia student Martese Johnson was brutally arrested released a statement Saturday denying claims that the 20-year-old man was belligerent, according to NBC 29.


Kevin Badke, owner of Trinity Irish Pub, issued the statement through his attorney. His description of his interaction with Johnson early Wednesday morning runs counter to previous reports about Johnson’s bloody encounter with Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control officers, which was captured on camera.

The statement says that Badke was working the door when Johnson tried to enter with an Illinois ID. After Johnson gave the wrong zip code on his ID, Badke denied him entry into the bar and Johnson walked away, the report states.


“There have been reported comments that management of Trinity were belligerent towards Mr. Johnson or that Mr. Johnson was belligerent towards management,” the statement reads, according to NBC 29. “Those allegations are patently untrue, as the brief conversation that occurred was polite and cordial. Mr. Badke's observation was that Mr. Johnson was a disappointed patron."

Badke also denied allegations of racial profiling.

“There have been reports that Trinity engages or engaged, in this incident, in racial profiling in not permitting Mr. Johnson to enter,” the statement reads. “The rationale for allowing patrons to enter—being familiar with the zip code on their own license—is color, gender, race, and ethnicity-blind.”

The statement says the bar is cooperating with state police in the investigation into Johnson’s arrest, which sparked protests when video emerged of the brutal encounter.

Read more at NBC 29.

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