The violent arrest of a University of Virginia student sparked new scrutiny of Virginia’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control on Thursday as university officials and Richmond lawmakers questioned the tactics and approach of the agency’s law enforcement officers.
The arrest put Charlottesville at the center of a national debate over White police officers’ treatment of Black youths, and it brought long-simmering racial tensions to the surface at a school steeped in Southern tradition.
The bloody incident also spurred student protests and what Virginia State Police said would be a “comprehensive investigation” into the arrest, both an administrative review at Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s request and a criminal investigation at the behest of local prosecutors. “Getting arrested shouldn’t involve getting stitches,” U-Va. President Teresa A. Sullivan said in an interview with The Washington Post. Sullivan met with the student Thursday, and she wrote in a letter to alumni that “members of our community should feel safe from the threat of bodily harm and other forms of violence.”