The bloody arrest of a 20-year-old student at the University of Virginia Wednesday morning sparked massive protests and an investigation into what many say was a blatant example of police brutality.
UVA undergraduate Martese Johnson was reportedly taken down by cops outside of Trinity Irish Pub in Charlottesville at around 1 a.m. Wednesday for public intoxication and obstruction of justice, reports the New York Daily News.
Video footage shows the honor student being pinned to the ground and bleeding. He can reportedly be heard calling the officers "f---ing racists" and asking them, "How did this happen?"
Johnson suffered a gash on his head that required 10 stitches, but joined the student demonstration on Wednesday evening.
"His head was slammed into the hard pavement with excessive force," school officials reportedly said in a statement. "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."
One of the witnesses, Jennifer Goldman, took to Twitter after the incident and claimed Johnson was not resisting arrest at the time of the incident.
The protest was organized by the school's Black Student Alliance, in which Johnson holds a leadership position. Approximately 300 students showed up and the demonstration had to be moved from a classroom to the campus amphitheater.
At one point during the evening, Johnson spoke and asked the crowd "to please respect everyone here."
He added: "We're all part of one community. We deserve to respect each other, especially at times like this."
The officers who arrested Johnson were from the state's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, which said in a statement that he was detained after a bar refused to allow him in.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe has called for an investigation to determine whether police used excessive force.
J. Miller, one of the responding officers, has reportedly been placed on administrative duty, pending the outcome of the case.
Source: New York Daily News
Photo Credit: Stephon Dingle CBS19/Twitter, Bryan Beaubrun/AP