Martese Johnson, ABC settle lawsuit for $250K

The settlement marks the end of a three-year legal saga following Johnson’s bloody arrest

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Johnson filed a suit against Virginia's Alcoholic Beverage Control in March 2015 for assault, battery and negligent supervision.

John Pappas | Cavalier Daily

University alumnus Martese Johnson settled a $3 million lawsuit with the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, according to a joint statement published on the ABC website Wednesday. The lawsuit started in 2015 after Johnson was the subject of a bloody arrest outside Trinity Irish Pub.

“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,” the statement reads.

Virginia ABC confirmed the settlement amount at $249,950 — 12 times less than the amount named in the original lawsuit — but declined to comment otherwise.

At the time of the lawsuit, Johnson was 20 years old, a third-year College student and a vice chair of the Honor Committee. He was violently arrested by ABC agents in March 2015 after being turned away from Trinity Irish Pub. Videos of the agents throwing Johnson to the ground went viral, attracting widespread criticism of ABC and its employees.

The original charges against Johnson included public intoxication and obstruction of justice, but they were dropped in June 2015 by then-Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney Dave Chapman. Later that year, Johnson filed a suit against the three officers, ABC and its law enforcement director.

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