Trial date set in Martese Johnson case against ABC

Martese Johnson
Martese Johnson (Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

CHARLOTTESVILLE (WSLS 10) - A trial date was set for the lawsuit Martese Johnson filed against the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC).

The jury trial was set for October 3-7, 2016 in the Charlottesville federal court before District Judge Glen E. Conrad.

Martese Johnson filed a $3 million suit against the ABC, as well as ABC agents Jared Miller, Thomas Custer, John Cielakie, and Shawn Walker for "unlawful detention, arrest, and excessive use of force."

Click here to view the Complaint [PDF]

Johnson garnered national attention after video of his arrest by ABC special agents went viral on social media. In the video, Johnson could be seen on the ground with several ABC agents trying to arrest him.

A booking photo from later that night shows Johnson with a bruised face. He was charged with obstruction of justice without force and public swearing or intoxication.

Virginia State Police investigated the incident and did not charge the officers involved. The ABC conducted a review of that investigation and determined that the agents did not violate policy during the arrest. The agents were assigned to desk duty during the investigation. They later returned to regular duty.

In June, a prosecutor in a separate criminal investigation found no evidence of malice or racism by the officers. Charges against Johnson were dismissed.