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Recent allegations of excessive force at UVA bring student-police relations to the forefront

Critics are questioning the arrest methods used during an alcohol investigation at a local campus.

The University of Virginia is receiving negative press for the violent arrest of a black student. The arrest, according to a report by a local CBS affiliate, involved a third-year student who was denied entry into a bar amid allegations of using fake identification. Video was taken from a cellphone on the scene, showing the young man “beaten and bloody outside the bar” “pleading with police.”

Arrest leads to questions

The young man was arrested by agents of the State Alcoholic Beverage Control. The video fuels questions of whether these agents used excessive force. Allegations of excessive force are supported by two main facts: the young man’s reputation and the physical injuries suffered at the scene. According to Reuters, the young man left the scene with “10 stitches, lacerations on his forehead, multiple bruises and facial swelling.” The student was also well respected on campus. A reputation supported by the fact the student was attending on a full scholarship and holding the vice chairman position for the honor committee as well as serving in a leadership role in the Black Student Alliance. This reputation makes it hard for those who know the student to believe his injuries were the result of belligerence, as noted in arrest documents.

State legislatures are questioning the arrest as well. Reuters also noted that a “prominent Virginia state senator” has called for “stripping the state Alcoholic Beverage Control agents of their arrest powers.”

College students should not let their rights be trampled

An independent investigation is currently underway, attempting to determine if excessive force was used in this instance. This case provides a number of lessons for students on campus, one of which is the importance of taking charges seriously.

Even allegations of underage drinking or drug use can lead to serious consequences. Aside from monetary fines and, depending on the details of the charges, potential imprisonment, a conviction could lead to a criminal record. This record could result in lost scholarship, academic and employment opportunities.

College students need to take allegations seriously

Virginia has a rich history and offers many prestigious institutions of higher education. Those who are seeking to better their future should not allow allegations of criminal activity to stunt their educational growth. Whether attending the University of Virginia, James Madison University or another education institution in Virginia it is important to take any charges of criminal activity seriously. Those who are charged are wise to contact an experienced student crimes lawyer. This legal professional will review the details of your case and advocate for your rights, working to better ensure a more favorable outcome.

Keywords: criminal defense alcohol offenses campus crime