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UVa. graduate bloodied outside Charlottesville bar reaches agreement with Virginia ABC

RICHMOND, Va. — More than three years after he was bloodied outside a Charlottesville bar, now University of Virginia graduate Martese Johnson has reached an agreement to end his multi-million dollar lawsuit against the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). Terms of the agreement were not made public.

“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 outside Trinity Irish Pub in Charlottesville. 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.

The pub’s co-owners said Johnson was asked to leave the bar after he gave them the wrong zip code on his I.D. At the time he was underage. Johnson left amicably, the owners previously said. He was then approached by ABC agents.

As for how Johnson ended up so bloodied, prosecutors concluded it was because of an accidental fall during the arrest.

U.Va student Martese Johnson lies on the ground with a bloodied face that occurred during an arrest, his lawyer said.