Bloody arrest of black U.Va. student sparks outrage

Racial tensions flare after violent arrest of... 02:50

The violent arrest of a black student at the University of Virginia has spurred an independent investigation and calls for unity among outraged students, reports CBS News correspondent Wyatt Andrews.

Like they do on any big night of drinking, agents were on patrol looking for underage drinkers, but what happened outside a bar Wednesday has aggravated racial tensions on campus.

State Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) agents arrested third-year student Martese Johnson early Wednesday morning after the bar denied him entry. The agents were questioning Johnson's use of a possible fake ID.

Johnson, 20, is seen pleading with police outside the Trinity Irish Pub in Charlottesville in video captured on a cell phone. It shows the underage student beaten and bloody outside the bar and many are asking whether the ABC agents used excessive force.

"I go to U.Va! I go to U.Va! You f---ing... You f---ing racists! What the f---? How did this happen?" Johnson said.

Arrest documents said Johnson, "was very agitated and belligerent," but that's not how he's known on campus. He's the popular, highly respected vice chairman of the student-run honor committee and a leader of the Black Student Alliance.

Two demonstrations were organized in support of Johnson and U. Va. student Assa Diaw said the incident shows why all African Americans fear mistreatment by police.

"To just see it happen so brutally and so vividly in front of our faces just wakes us up to the reality that we face here every day," Diaw said.

Johnson made a surprise appearance at one rally, sporting 10 new stitches in his head, and was emotional, but spoke only briefly.

"I know that we can be better. We just have to choose to," he said. "We have to choose to be tolerant; and accepting enough to be tolerant to work with each other to build this community."

U. Va. president Teresa Sullivan also attended the rally after calling for an immediate independent investigation.

"Just seeing the blood run down that young man's face, you know, I wanted to know what happened," Sullivan said.

Johnson is due to appear in court next week and the agents involved in his arrest have been put on administrative duty pending the investigation.

This isn't the first time Virginia's ABC has had a run-in with a U.Va student. In 2013, agents mistakenly arrested a female student after they thought the water she was buying was actually beer. That student later sued and settled with the state for more than $200,000 dollars.