On Wednesday evening a crowd of students at the University of Virginia rallied to support college junior Martese Johnson, 20, whose bloody arrest early that morning by Alcoholic Beverage Control officers outside a bar near the campus sparked outrage and accusations of excessive force and racism.

ABC News reported Thursday about the campus protest and the arrest, which has become the focus of an investigation under the governor’s jurisdiction:

Outrage is spreading across the University of Virginia grounds over the bloody arrest of a student after he attempted to enter a bar near the college, an incident that is now at the center of a police brutality investigation at the request of Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.

The student, Martese Johnson, 20, participated in a rally Wednesday night with thousands of students in the university’s amphitheater at the center of campus. He was seen wiping away tears and then taking the microphone himself at the emotionally charged gathering.

“I want the remainder of students out there to be able to share their opinions and share their feelings. I beg for you guys, regardless of your personal opinions and the way you feel about subjects, to please respect everyone here,” Johnson said. “We are all part of one community and we deserve to respect each other, especially in times like this. Thank you.”

Johnson was denied entry to the bar on University Avenue and wrestled to the ground by the apprehending agents, and he sustained a head injury during the arrest. He was charged with public intoxication and obstruction of justice. Watch ABC News’ report about the inciting incident:

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–Posted by Kasia Anderson

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