Virginia alcohol agency’s arrest powers under scrutiny

Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC)RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ A Virginia alcohol-law enforcement agency that has sparked public outrage over two high-profile arrests has investigated three complaints of excessive use of force by its officers in the last five years. The Alcoholic Beverage Control Department supplied those numbers to The Associated Press in response to an open-records request. But details remain sealed. ABC declined to release the reports, citing personnel records exemptions in the state’s Freedom of Information Act. ABC’s arrest powers are under scrutiny after the March arrest of University of Virginia student Martese Johnson, who suffered a gash on his head. In 2013, another U.Va. student fled in a panic when her car was swarmed by a half-dozen agents who mistook a carton of sparkling water for beer.

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