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Charges dropped against student bloodied in police encounter

A story recently made the news about a black University of Virginia student who was arrested and charged with resisting arrest and public intoxication after being stopped by the state's Alcohol Beverage Control officers outside of a pub adjacent to the U-Va. campus. Photos from that encounter went viral and sparked outrage. The college student ended up in a jail cell all bloodied up after coming into contact with ABC officers.

The latest development in the case is all good news for that college student. While the prosecutor notes that the ABC police officers lawfully stopped the college student, the prosecutor opted to drop the charges against the student. The prosecutor did note that there was enough evidence to prosecute the student because he was very aggressive when he was resisting police officers.

In the video of the incident, it became clear that the young man simply made a wrong decision on that fateful night. He presented his photo identification to the pub owner but was turned away because of a zip code discrepancy. The ABC officer then touched the young man. The young man pulled his arm away and was then grabbed by two officers. The three men scuffled and fell on the sidewalk. The young man suffered a head injury in the process.

A lot of uncertainty abounds in this incident. Calling several points into play, the prosecutor opted to give the young college student a break and drop the charges placed against him.

There is no guarantee that charges in any case will be dropped. Still, knowing what evidence to call into question might help defendants in their quest to fight against criminal charges.

Source: The Washington Post, "Prosecutor outlines why he dropped charges against black U-Va. student," T. Rees Shapiro, June 17, 2015

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Ronald E. Smith, P.C.

criminal defense & Social security disability law

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