Charlottesville, VA — More than 1,000 students recently gathered at the University of Virginia (U.Va.) to protest and demand justice for 20-year old Martese Johnson, a Black student who was injured during a recent arrest by police officers. In pictures and videos circulating on Facebook, Johnson is seen being arrested with a very bloody face and shirt.
The very next night after the arrest, a rally in support of Johnson drew hundreds of students including Johnson himself. Johnson told the crowd, “We are one community. We deserve to respect each other, especially in times like this.”
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe issued a statement saying: “Governor McAuliffe is concerned by the reports of this incident and has asked the Secretary of Public Safety to initiate an independent Virginia State Police investigation into the use of force in this matter. The governor’s office has been in contact with University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan and local law enforcement and will continue to monitor this situation closely as the investigation proceeds.”
University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan also released a statement saying: “The safety and security of our students will always be my primary concern, and every member of our community should feel safe from the threat of bodily harm and other forms of violence. Today, as U.Va. students, faculty, and staff who share a set of deeply held values, we stand unified in our commitment to seeking the truth about this incident. And we stand united in our belief that equal treatment and equal justice are among our fundamental rights under the law.”
Meanwhile, the special agents involved in Johnson’s arrest have been assigned to administrative duties while the investigation continues.
Watch the video of the arrest below:
For more pictures of the incident, visit www.cavalierdaily.com/article/2015/03/university-student-honor-committee-member-martese-johnson-arrested