UVA graduate student bloodied outside Charlottesville bar by law enforcement reaches settlement deal

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Martese Johnson was approached by ABC officers after being forced to leave a bar for being underage. The pub owners said he left amicably after they found out he was underage at the time.  Photos of Johnson’s face covered in blood caused outrage in the community, but prosecutors concluded it was because of an accidental fall during the arrest.




“The Parties and ABC have reached a mutually agreeable compromise and resolution of the lawsuit. In the Parties’ and ABC’s view, the interests of justice and the long term interests of the community are best served, not through continued and protracted litigation, but by taking the events as an opportunity to educate the public and foster constructive dialogue between ordinary citizens, law enforcement officers, and public officials concerning police and citizen relationships in a diverse community,” a joint statement read. “The Parties also desire to avoid the
significant expenses, risks, and uncertainties associated with continued and protracted litigation. This agreement includes no admission of liability or wrongdoing by either party.”

Martese Johnson





Johnson’s 2015 lawsuit claimed his civil rights were violated on St. Patrick’s Day 2015 by Virginia ABC officers near Trinity Irish Pub. At the time, he labeled his arrest by ABC agents an assault and battery. The ABC, in court documents, previously stated their officers had reasonable suspicion to stop Johnson that night because he had just been kicked out of a bar.

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