Black UVA student’s $3million lawsuit against white liquor agents who threw him to the ground, cutting open his head

The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control is asking a judge to throw out a $3 million civil lawsuit against it over the arrest of a University of Virginia student that sparked outrage when video of it surfaced.

The Daily Progress reports the defendants filed the motion Monday, asking the court to throw out the lawsuit filed by 21-year-old Martese Johnson, a University of Virginia student who was arrested on St. Patrick’s Day.

ABC agents say Johnson was attempting to enter a bar with a fake ID. Johnson, who filed the lawsuit in October, says his ID was valid and he was not intoxicated during the bloody altercation.

It alleges unlawful detention and excessive use of force by three Alcoholic Beverage Control agents.

Video and photos of Johnson being pinned to the sidewalk by ABC agents during the March arrest were widely distributed on social media. Johnson, who is black, could be heard on the video calling the officers racist. He was bleeding from a gash in his head that, according to his lawyer, needed 15 stitches to close.

Charges of public intoxication and obstruction of justice against Johnson were later dropped.

‘The Agents’ brutal and unjustified attack on Martese has left Martese permanently disfigured as there is scarring to Martese’s forehead and scalp,’ the lawsuit says.

Johnson was charged with obstruction of justice and public intoxication or swearing, but those charges were dropped. After an investigation, the Charlottesville prosecutor determined that the agents did nothing wrong and declined to file charges.

The incident prompted Gov. Terry McAuliffe to order additional training for ABC’s 130 officers and appoint a task force to examine the agency’s law enforcement practices. The task force last month declined to recommend stripping ABC of its arrest powers but recommended that the agency emphasize regulatory activities, such as licensing compliance, over law enforcement.

Source: DailyMail

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