RICHMOND, Va. – A panel formed after the violent arrest of a student by Virginia's liquor agency has declined to recommend stripping the agency of its arrest powers.
Gov. Terry McAuliffe appointed the panel after a March arrest by Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control agents left a college student bloodied. Video and photos of University of Virginia student Martese Johnson were widely distributed on social media. Johnson, who is black, could be heard on the video calling the officers racist. Charges against him were dropped.
One of the issues considered by McAuliffe's panel was whether ABC's law enforcement powers should be shifted to state or local police. In its report issued Tuesday, the panel said "the public safety of Virginia is best served by Virginia ABC."
However, the panel recommended that the agency emphasize regulatory activities over law enforcement.