Martese Johnson Releases Statement After Violent Arrest
AP Photo/The Daily Progress, Andrew Shurtleff

Martese Johnson, the Black University of Virginia student who was violently arrested by Alcohol Beverage Control Officers on Wednesday night, has released a statement saying that the trauma from that evening would stay with him forever. At a press conference yesterday, Johnson’s lawyer, Daniel Watkins, read the statement on his behalf.

“I’m shocked that my face was slammed into the brick pavement, just across the street from where I attend school,” the statement read. “As the officers held me down, one thought raced through my mind: How could this happen? My head lay bloody, but unbowed. I trust that the scars on my face and head will one day heal, but the trauma from what the ABC officers did yesterday will stay with me forever “

Johnson, an honor student, urged that the community stick together and overcome this breach of trust.

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Watkins has vowed to dispute the criminal charges against his client, who is supposed to appear in court next week. The offending officers are currently on administrative duty and under investigation by the Virginia Secretary of Public Safety.