University of Virginia students stormed out of a meeting Friday aimed at resolving questions tied to Wednesday’s violent arrest of a student leader, who is black.
In a recap on its website, the school based in Charlottesville, Va., described the public forum organized by the school’s Student Council as “spirited.” Audience members frequently responded to officials’ statements with “Answer the questions we asked” and chanted “black lives matter,” according to published reports. The latter evolved as the rallying cry among protesters angered at the August 2013 death of black teen Michael Brown by a Ferguson, Mo., police officer.
About 350 people packed into the meeting at U-Va.’s Newcomb Hall.
The tension is over the early Wednesday arrest of student Martese Johnson, 20, by officers with the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control outside of a bar after Johnson was denied entry into the establishment shortly after St. Patrick’s Day festivities. Photos of Johnson just after the incident that spread via social media show him bloodied by injuries that required stitches. The incident has prompted a state administrative review and criminal investigation, and fueled tensions simmering over the way black males are treated by the police.
The investigation “will take time, even weeks,” the school reported that Brian Moran, Virginia’s secretary of public safety and homeland security, said at the heated meeting.
Moran’s office oversees the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, or ABC.
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SOURCE: USA Today, Melanie Eversley