Justice for Honors Student Beaten by Police


Target: Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo

Goal: Fire police officers who violently slammed a young college student to the ground for trying to enter a pub.

University of Virginia honors student Martese Johnson was brutally arrested and attacked by police officers after being denied entry to an Irish pub, despite his non-violent and cooperative behavior. The officers approached Johnson, threw him to the ground and slammed his head into the pavement. He was so badly beaten that his abrasions required ten stitches. The attack was spurred after Johnson moved to reach for his cell phone. Staff working at the pub that night claimed Johnson was neither violent or belligerent, and was refused entry solely because he was under 21. The incident was an unjustified act of blatant brutality.

The officers involved have been placed on administrative duty, but have yet to face any serious consequences for their groundless actions. Additionally, during the incident they were not wearing body-mounted cameras, a mandate in the state of Virginia since 2013.

Despite his civil, amicable behavior, Johnson was charged with obstruction of justice and public intoxication. His case is just one of many vicious attacks suffered by minorities at the hands of police. The fact that the two officers involved were able to walk away from the incident without facing ramifications, while Johnson was left bloodied and beaten, is deeply upsetting.

Police brutality is unjust and inexcusable, and its offenders deserve to face harsh, immediate consequences when they attack innocent civilians. By signing the petition below, you will help urge Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo to fire the two officers for their violent arrest of Johnson, and prevent them from using excessive force against any other law-abiding citizens.


Dear Police Chief Tim Longo,

Two Alcoholic Beverage Control agents brutally arrested Martese Johnson after he was denied entry to an Irish pub. While Johnson was cooperative and did not resist arrest, the attack left him in need of immediate medical attention, which resulted in ten stitches. The involved officers have not been reprimanded for their actions.

We, the undersigned, urge you to fire the ABC agents who brutalized Johnson. The officers were clearly acting upon racially-charged biases, rather than an actual need to use excessive force. If these two agents remain active within the police force, further incidents such as this one will surely continue to occur.

Please help bring justice to Martese Johnson and protect Charlottesville and its citizens of color from these violent officers. We ask you to take a stand against police brutality and help put a stop to it, so innocent civilians like Johnson can feel and remain safe when dealing with the people who took an oath to protect them.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: terren in Virginia via Wikimedia Commons

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