WASHINGTON — A University of Virginia student, whose bloody arrest on March 17 by state Alcohol Beverage Control agents (ABC) sparked public outcry and a police investigation wants the charges against him thrown out.
Images of Martese Johnson’s bloodied face went viral as he was was slammed to the ground after pulling away from one of the officers who grabbed his elbow. The 20-year-old African-American honor student who was arrested near a popular campus hangout was charged with public intoxication and obstruction of justice.
In a crowded courtroom filled with supporters, Johnson made his first court appearance on Thursday. The case was continued until May 28, 2015. But Johnson’s attorney says Johnson wasn’t drunk and that the officers lacked legal justification for the arrest.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe ordered the investigation along with changes in training for ABC agents who have had repeated allegations of brutality.