This week’s incident at the University of Virginia (UVA) in which police left a black student with a gruesomely bloodied face marks the second time in less than two years that the Virginia Department of Alcohol Beverage Control has brutalized a student at the prestigious taxpayer-funded school.
The latest instance of police viciousness occurred just after midnight on Wednesday when Alcohol Beverage Control police accosted UVA junior Martese Johnson, who had tried to enter the local Trinity Irish Pub with a fake ID. (RELATED: Student Tries To Use Fake ID, Winds Up Bloody And Cuffed On The Sidewalk)
Police claim Johnson, 20, became belligerent. The Alcohol Beverage Control officers on the scene responded belligerently by violently tossing Johnson to the ground, witnesses claim.
As a result of the police action, Johnson suffered serious injuries. He required 10 stitches. A picture of the student being held down while blood streams down his face has quickly gone viral on the Internet and has helped fuel anger from many around the country.
Johnson faces charges for resisting arrest, obstructing justice, and profane swearing or intoxication in public.
Wednesday’s police beatdown of Johnson is similar in many ways to a summer 2013 incident in which seven — seven — agents from Virginia’s Alcoholic Beverage Control division ambushed a female UVA student who made the mistake of walking to her car with bottled water, cookie dough and ice cream in a dark supermarket parking lot near campus.
The seven cunningly plain-clothed agents sprung aggressively into action, suspecting that the student, then-20-year-old Elizabeth Daly, was carrying a 12-pack of beer. She was actually carrying a sky-blue carton of LaCroix sparkling water. (RELATED: UVA Student Jailed For Possession Of Bottled Water, Ice Cream)
One of the high-strung cops vaulted onto the hood of Daly’s car. Daly contends that another drew a gun. A third tried to break her car windows, she said.
Daly, along with two roommates who were in the car, did what reasonable, unarmed people usually do when violently pounced upon by seven people. They tried to get away.
“They were showing unidentifiable badges after they approached us, but we became frightened, as they were not in anything close to a uniform,” Daly wrote in an account of the incident.
Daly spent a night and good part of the next day in jail.
Virginia’s division of Alcohol Beverage Control charged Daly with three felonies: one count of eluding police and two counts of assaulting a law enforcement officer.
All charges were later dropped and Daly ultimately received $212,000 in a lawsuit settlement.
Prior to the settlement, the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control defended its violent arrest and incarceration of Daly over bottled water in a press release.
“We take all citizen complaints seriously and the matter is currently under review by the ABC Bureau of Law Enforcement,” the bureaucracy said back in 2013.
The Alcoholic Beverage Control division released a similar statement on Wednesday concerning this week’s brutality against Johnson.
“The uniformed ABC Agents observed and approached the individual after he was refused entry to a licensed establishment,” the state bureaucracy said, according to The Cavalier Daily. “A determination was made by the agents to further detain the individual based on their observations and further questioning.”
Students who witnessed Johnson’s arrest explained the incident from their own perspectives.
“Martese was talking to the bouncer and there was some discrepancy about his ID,” senior Bryan Beaubrun told the student newspaper. Then, Beaubrun said, Alcohol Beverage Control officers grabbed Johnson, “wrestling Martese to the ground.”
Video of the incident shows Johnson calling the cops “fucking racists.”
A number of students told the UVA student rag they believe police treated Johnson differently and violently because of his skin color. Some noted that they cannot recall any white students getting brutally beaten over a fake ID.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has released a statement saying he is “concerned by the reports of this incident.” McAuliffe also contacted UVA president Teresa Sullivan “and will continue to monitor this situation closely as the investigation proceeds,” according to area CBS affiliate WTVR.
A spokesman at the University of Virginia did not respond to The Daily Caller’s request for comment.