Student ‘jumped’ by ABC agents saddened by Martese Johnson’s bloody arrest

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Elizabeth Daly

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — As Virginia State Police continue its investigation into the bloody arrest of University of Virginia student Martese Johnson by Virginia ABC agents, a UVa. student involved in a previous, and controversial, ABC arrest decided to speak out. In April 2013, agents arrested then 20-year-old Elizabeth Daly as she left a Charlottesville grocery store.  The agents, who thought she was carrying a 12-pack of beer, pulled out their guns when Daly attempted to get away. It turned out she was carrying bottled water.

“I know no more, or less, of the facts in this latest ABC incident than what has been published, but it truly saddens and upsets me that anyone, not just a UVA student, would be subjected to the treatment Martese Johnson was by ABC agents,” Daly said in a statement released through her lawyer.

In an effort to have “proper legislative review” and the “ability to measure the ABC’s seriousness in their law enforcement corrective actions,” she asked Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe and and Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring to do the following:

  • Make public immediately the Virginia State Police investigation into the ABC’s actions that transpired in her case.
  • Have the ABC tell the public what actions and corrective measures were taken in regards to the officers involved.
  • Vow to make public this now new State Police Investigation they have called for in the ABC’s actions towards Martese.

“I sincerely appreciate the fact that the vast majority of law enforcement officers do their job of serving and protecting the public every day,” Daly said. “I am hopeful this new investigation will apply its focus squarely upon the ABC and its policing actions.”

During a June 2014 hearing in which a federal judge dismissed the state from Daly’s $40 million lawsuit, her attorney argued the plain-clothed ABC agents jumped his client as she tried getting inside her SUV. As a result, part of the lawsuit alleged assault and battery against the officers. Attorney James Thorsen said the assault was against his client — although not physical– resulted in a “mental injury.”

In the end, the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control settled Daly’s lawsuit and agreed to pay her $212,000. Attorney General Herring said the settlement was not an admission of guilt by either party.

Martese Johnson is due back in court on Thursday, March 26, where he is expected to plead not guilty on charges of obstruction of justice and drunk in public and/or swearing.

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