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  • Writer's pictureSam Orlando

Controversial Arrest of Miami University Football Player Raises Concerns of Police Misconduct

Written by: Ismael Barrios

Oxford, Ohio - A recent incident involving Miami University (OH) football player Devin Johnson at Brick Street Bar in Oxford, Ohio, has ignited controversy and calls for an investigation. The incident, which took place on November 18, has prompted discussions about police conduct, civil rights, and the need for transparency in law enforcement.

Social Media Exposure and Video Analysis

The incident gained public attention through the hashtag #justicefordevin, with a TikTok video (@femmeslibre) surfacing on December 23. The video, narrated by a woman claiming to be Johnson's cousin, portrays a confrontation at Brick Street Bar after a football victory. Johnson, allegedly attacked by a bouncer, engaged in a physical struggle upon attempting to re-enter the establishment.

Surveillance footage shared on social media depicts a struggle between Johnson and a bouncer, with additional individuals joining the altercation. Officer Matthew Blauvelt, seen in the video, arrived at the scene, punching Johnson three times and using force during the arrest.

Criminal Charges and Legal Proceedings

Police responded to a call at 1 a.m. on November 18, resulting in criminal charges against Johnson, including criminal trespassing, underage possession, resisting arrest, and assault. Johnson's attorney, Ryan Agee, disputes the charges, emphasizing the disturbing nature of the video. Johnson's trial by jury is scheduled for February 28, 2024, with a pretrial hearing on January 25.

Police Officer's Actions and Community Response

Officer Matthew Blauvelt, directly involved in the incident, has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation. The Oxford Police Department (OPD) initiated an investigation, expressing a commitment to transparency and a fair review. Mayor William Snavely condemned the excessive use of force.

University and Establishment Reactions

Miami University (located in Oxford, OH) expressed deep concerns about the incident, reaching out to Devin Johnson. The university is in contact with the City of Oxford for more information and emphasizes the need for a fair investigation. Brick Street Bar acknowledged the disturbing nature of the video and expressed gratitude that no one required medical attention.

Legal Representation and Family Statement

Ryan Agee, Johnson's attorney, is calling for an independent, external investigation, citing a lack of communication from the Oxford City Police Department. Johnson and his family are actively fighting against criminal charges, maintaining his innocence and emphasizing a commitment to a fair legal process.

Community Data and Oversight

The Oxford Police Community Relations and Review Commission (PCRRC) presented data for 2022 and 2021 regarding use of force reports, responding to public concern and misinformation.

Impact on Officer and Police Department

Officer Blauvelt remains on paid administrative leave during the investigation. Oxford Police Chief John Jones and Lieutenant Lara Fening are currently unavailable for comment. The OPD's Facebook post acknowledges the need for further investigation, noting that the initial investigation did not include the video angle.

The incident has stirred public debate, raising questions about police conduct and the handling of the situation. Breaking Through News will continue to follow this story closely and provide updates as more information becomes available.

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