“I am very concerned about the events that occurred at the UVa Corner in the early morning hours of March 17, 2015. The photos are very disturbing, as are the videos that I have viewed. At this point, it is unclear why the ABC agents took this action against this young man. I fully support the independent investigation that has been initiated by the Governor and the Secretary of Public Safety. The Governor’s office has assured me that this will be conducted and concluded expeditiously.
“All of the information I have to date suggests that these were actions taken by ABC agents and not by the Charlottesville Police Department or UVa Police Department. So far as I know, Charlottesville and Albemarle officers arrived at the scene after the ABC agents made the arrest and were engaged in helping calm the crowd. I know how much attention the leadership of our Charlottesville, Albemarle, and UVa police departments pay to the civil rights of our citizens. The continued overreaction by ABC law enforcement personnel in these cases is key question that requires an answer.
“It is clear, based on the 2013 incident involving ABC actions against a student at the local Harris Teeter as well as from the recent events, that ABC policies, protocols, and training are inappropriate for dealing with these kinds of cases, and state and local leaders must take all efforts to enact reforms to protect the civil rights of our citizens as they enforce the laws of the Commonwealth.
“The young man himself has called for civility and calm, and I agree. But we must remain vigilant in gathering the facts and readdressing the legitimate concerns raised by this incident.”
Delegate David J. Toscano represents the 57th District in Virginia’s House of Delegates, which consists of the City of Charlottesville and parts of Albemarle County. Since 2012, Delegate Toscano has also served as House Democratic Leader, elected by his fellow Democratic delegate peers.