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The Virginia liquor agents who bloodied a University of Virginia honor student during a March arrest have been cleared of wrongdoing.

The three Alcoholic Beverage Control Department officers returned to work after an independent report by the Virginia State Police determined the agents “did not violate agency policy” when they arrested Martese Johnson outside of a bar on St. Patrick’s Day.

Johnson, who was detained due to a discrepancy with his identification card, was charged with public intoxication and obstruction of justice. The charges were later dropped in June by a prosecutor who said “the interest of justice is not served by further prosecution of the defendant,” NBC reports.

During the arrest, Johnson suffered a gash to his head that required a number of stitches. The incident was caught on tape by Johnson’s classmates. Growing concern over the treatment of the student prompted Gov. Terry McAuliffe to launch an investigation into the arrest.

From NBC:

The agents involved in Johnson’s arrest were restricted to “administrative duties” during the review, according to an ABC statement released in March.

The ABC said training “in areas of use of force, cultural diversity, effective interaction with youth and community policing,” also ordered by McAuliffe, had been completed ahead of schedule. The training lasted two weeks, the ABC said.

The independent report will not be released to the public.


ABC Agents Cleared Of Wrongdoing In Brutal Arrest Of UVA Student Martese Johnson  was originally published on

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