It seems as though no matter where you are in life as a Black person in this society, you are more prone to be assaulted by the police than others. Some may feel as though young people like 20-year-old Martese Johnson would be in a more privileged position than folks like Eric Garner in Staten Island or Mike Brown in Ferguson. Johnson is a third year Italian and media studies major at the University of Virginia. The brutal beating that he received from law enforcement on St. Patrick’s Day proves that no Black people are exempt from police brutality.
Students caught video of the alcohol beverage control agents viciously slamming Martese Johnson on to the pavement outside of a Charlottesville, VA Irish Pub. The force gashed his head leaving a sizable wound. The arresting agents claim to have approached Johnson after he had been turned away from the bar. The report states that the honor student “was very agitated and belligerent” at the time of arrest. He was charged with obstruction of justice without force and public swearing or intoxication.
A group called “Concerned Black Students” refute the agents’ claims, saying that the attack, that required ten stitches to mend, was unprovoked and over the top. Around a thousand students gathered on UVA’s campus last night in solidarity with Martese Johnson to protest against police brutality. Students at Johnson’s alma mater, Kenwood Academy in Chicago are also demonstrating and distributing flyers with the hashtag “#JUSTICEFORMARTESE” on them.