Virginia State Police have started a criminal investigation into a 2019 incident in which a trooper forcibly removed a Black driver from his car and can be heard saying on video: "You're gonna get your a** whooped in front of f**king Lord and all creation."
According to Lynchburg station WSET, on April 20, 2019, the driver, Derrick Thompson, 28, was pulled over for driving with an expired inspection decal. The trooper saw that he was also driving with a suspended license, claims she detected the odor of marijuana coming from the car and called additional troopers for backup.
But in the video, Thompson does not give his consent for a search and said that he felt unsafe. He also showed that he was unarmed and was not a threat to the three responding troopers.
About 10 minutes into the traffic stop, one of those Troopers, Charles Hewitt told Thompson he was under arrest. But he refused to leave his car and that is when Hewitt began to drag him from the vehicle.
"I'm giving you to the count of three," Hewitt shouts, then says into the camera: "One... two... watch the show, folks!"
“This officer is unlocking my car,” Thompson said. “They just illegally entered my car and I’m being forcibly removed.” Hewitt continues to threaten him until he puts Thompson in a headlock and yanks him out of the driver’s seat.
Thompson was arrested and taken to Fairfax County Adult Detention Center where he was treated for a cut to his forehead. His lawyer Joshua Erlich said he was charged with misdemeanor obstruction of justice without force, for which he pleaded guilty earlier this year. Erlich told The Washington Post that a lawsuit has not been filed as his client is seeking to resolve the case without litigating.
But by Virginia State Police policy, Thompson’s injury means a use of force investigation is required.
"The Virginia State Police adheres to strict policies regarding employee conduct and requires our employees to perform their duties with exceptional professionalism and integrity and to treat the public with fairness and respect at all times," a VSP statement said.
Hewitt was placed on administrative leave pending the result of the investigation, WSET reported.
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