Yesterday, news of the brutal beating of third year University of Virginia student Martese Johnson by cops quickly spread. Last night (March 18), UVA students held a rally demanding justice for Johnson and an investigation into the circumstances that left him handcuffed and bleeding profusely on the street.
Reports the Cavalier Daily:
Hundreds of students, faculty and community members attended the rally for third-year College student Martese Johnson organized by Black Dot and held in the amphitheater Wednesday night. Students used the open forum to express their discontent with the relationship between law enforcement and black people both locally and nationally.
Organizers put together the rally after Johnson sustained injuries while being arrested on the Corner early Wednesday morning. Johnson is the outgoing Honor Committee vice-chair for community relations and serves on the Black Student Alliance executive board.
UVA President Teresa Sullivan attended the rally, but did not speak, and earlier in the day released an e-mail informing everyone that the University is investigating. Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe has called for investigation into Johnson’s arrest, which according to his lawyer left him with 10 stitches in his head. Johnson’s lawyer also noted that his client was not accused of using false identification as had been widely reported.
Students spoke up about numerous issues including the relationship between police and Black students and racial relations on campus. The rally began in the campus’ amphitheater, but afterwards a group of protesters marched down to the Corner and Main Street.
The #JusticeForMartese hashtag is being circulated throughout social media, and is trending, and Black alumni from UVA are also organizing and raising funds for Johnson’s medical and legal expenses.
See images from the rally on the following pages.