ABC seeks to have Martese Johnson civil suit dismissed

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WVIR, WSLS 10 – CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va (WVIR) - The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control and its officers facing a civil lawsuit from University of Virginia student Martese Johnson want the case dismissed.

The motion was filed Monday in federal court.

On March 18, Johnson was arrested outside Trinity Irish Pub on the UVA Corner. The arrest drew national attention because images of Johnson with a bloody face quickly spread across social media. Fellow UVA students rallied around Johnson and protesters took to the streets of Charlottesville.

Johnson filed a civil suit against the ABC on Oct. 20 seeking $3 million because, as his lawsuit states, his civil rights were abused.

In the ABC's motion to dismiss it says the state agency and its workers are covered by sovereign immunity. Johnson's lawyers did not support their claims of excessive force and the agents had probable cause to stop Johnson that March night.