(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — A University of Virginia student has been cleared of all charges stemming from his arrest outside a bar in March.
Video showed police pinning Martese Johnson, 20, to the ground, his face bloodied, sparking public outrage.
Johnson was charged with public intoxication and obstruction of justice.
Speaking outside the courthouse in Charlottesville, Virginia, Friday morning after the charges were dismissed, Johnson said he was “elated” and “very excited” about the decision.
Now Johnson says the situation has only made him more passionate about social justice.
“It was a large moment of injustice in my opinion, but I think that injustice is going to fill something that’s so much more beautiful and so much more powerful within our community, but also throughout the entire nation,” he said. “It finally made me realize that regardless of what you do in this nation, regardless of what labels you have, what titles, certain members of our community will always be seen the same way, and that is until we do something about it and so now, I’m ten times more passionate and driven to get things done.”
Johnson was asked if he’s bothered by the fact that the police officers involved were not charged with any crimes.
“I think that there is a bigger lesson to be learned, that does not require the punishing of these officers. I think that part of what happened with me can’t be blamed on the officers. It has to be blamed on society as a whole,” he said.
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