University of Virginia students demonstrated in support of Martese Johnson, a black UVA honors student who needed 10 stitches for cuts sustained to his head while law enforcement officers arrested him outside a local bar late Tuesday night. UVA administrators also expressed their support for the 20-year-old and urged an independent investigation into the incident.

A graphic video of the arrest shows Johnson being held on the ground by multiple officers and bleeding profusely from the head. Johnson was yelling “how did this happen,” “I go to UVA” and accused the arresting officers of being racists in the video. Bystanders appealed to the officers to lift Johnson up but the officers refused. Johnson was charged with “obstructing justice without force” and “profane wearing and/or intoxication,” according to his lawyer, who said Johnson asked to be given privacy following the incident.

A demonstration was organized on campus by midday Wednesday. Hundreds turned out for the protest, according to local sources.



















UVA Vice President Marcus Martin and Dean Maurice Apprey issued a statement highly critical of the actions of the officers involved, who were part the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. An investigation is underway at the request of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe. Virginia ABC put the officers on administrative duties until the investigation is completed.

“We are outraged by the brutality against [Johnson] that occurred in the early hours Wednesday,” Apprey and Martin’s joint statement read. “His head was slammed into the hard pavement with excessive force. The student required medical evaluation and treatment at the UVA Hospital Emergency Department. This was wrong and should not have occurred. In the many years of our medical, professional and leadership roles at the University, we view the nature of this assault as highly unusual and appalling based on the information we have received.”

UVA President Teresa Sullivan also issued a statement concerning the incident, asking eyewitnesses to come forward and to announce she met with local law enforcement chiefs to gather information on the incident.