University Community Responds to Disturbing Arrest of Student

March 19, 2015

The University of Virginia community is responding with resolve and compassion in the wake of an incident in which a University student was injured during an arrest early Wednesday morning by Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control officers on The Corner.

In a statement to the University community sent Wednesday, President Teresa A. Sullivan expressed her deep concerns, and requested that eyewitnesses contact Virginia State Police at 1-877-482-8477 or Earlier in the day, Sullivan asked Gov. Terry McAuliffe for an investigation of the incident, which the governor launched Wednesday afternoon.

“Today, as U.Va. students, faculty, and staff who share a set of deeply held values, we stand unified in our commitment to seeking the truth about this incident,” Sullivan wrote in her message to the University community. “And we stand united in our belief that equal treatment and equal justice are among our fundamental rights under the law.” (Find the president’s full message here.)

On Friday at 1 p.m., the University Student Council will host a forum for students in Newcomb Theater. The council has invited representatives from local law enforcement agencies and the Virginia ABC to participate in the dialogue.

“We need to consider the role each of us can play in combating inequality in our community. We must think about how it reflects on each of us if we are indifferent to injustice or violence at any level,” Student Council President-Elect Abraham Axler and Student Council 2014-15 President Jalen Ross wrote in a message to all students.

On Wednesday night, students, faculty, staff, administrators and community members joined at the McIntire Amphitheater in a powerful display of solidarity and to demand answers and action. Student group Black Dot organized the rally. Students also gathered and rallied on Grounds Thursday.

Vice President for Diversity and Equity Marcus Martin and Dean of African-American Affairs Maurice Apprey also issued a joint statement in which they expressed shared outrage.

 “Violence against an individual, no matter the color of his or her skin, gender, religious beliefs, or sexual orientation, is inexcusable and appalling. If you are the victim of bias, racism, hazing, or sexual misconduct, please report the incident to the Just Report It system,” Martin and Apprey wrote. “Our students have the right to a safe environment in which to obtain their education. We are deeply concerned about the safety of all students, faculty, staff, and community members.”

Martin and Apprey also encouraged students to use the Office for Diversity and Equity and the Office of African-American Affairs as resources for support. “Please know you can call us to talk about this situation and your concerns,” Martin and Apprey wrote. (Find the full statement here.)

Other communications related to the incident include:

Tweet by Govenor McAuliffe

Statement of Attorney General Mark Herring

Statement of the Virginia ABC

Thursday message from Sullivan to parents and alumni

Media Contact

Anthony P. de Bruyn

University Spokesperson Office of University Communications