Virginia State Police launching investigation into trooper after viral video comes to light
FAIRFAX, Va. (WWBT) - A Virginia State trooper has been placed on leave following a viral video that now has the department’s Superintendent sounding off.
Officer Charles Hewitt can be seen forcibly grabbing a Black man out of his car during a traffic stop in Fairfax. It all started because the officers say they smelled marijuana in the car but they never found any drugs.
The incident happened last year but the video the man recorded during the traffic stop is now gaining momentum following the death of George Floyd. Derrick Thompson, the man behind the wheel in the video, just retained an attorney, and immediately, they’re seeing some action.
“Take a look at me. I’m a f*** specimen right here buddy,” Trooper Hewitt is heard saying in the video.
“Sir, my hands are up. I’m in no threat to the officer,” Thompson replied.
“You’re going to get your a** whooped in front of fu**** Lord and all creation,” Hewitt said.
Trooper Charles Hewitt was trying to get Derrick Thompson out of his car because there was a suspicion Thompson had drugs.
“They just illegally opened my car and I’m being forcibly removed,” Thompson says. He was on his way to work at the time.
His attorney says no drugs were in the car so Thompson didn’t understand why this was happening.
“I’m giving you till the count of three. Don’t do this,” Hewitt warns in the video.
“I’m not touching this officer. My hand is by my head,” Thompson replies.
Things quickly escalate.
“One, two, watch the show folks,” Hewitt says while looking at the camera.
“My life is in danger,” Thompson is heard saying before there’s a loud sound of him being brought to the ground.
“How do you like that Mother Fu****? How do you like that?” Hewitt is heard saying.
When Thompson is taken down, the video fades to black.
“I’m not resisting…Get off my neck sir, you are harming me,” Thompson is heard saying.
“He appears to be enjoying himself,” said Attorney Joshua Erlich who is representing Thompson. “He had lacerations to his head that were bleeding profusely. He also had some injuries to his legs…He asked several times for medical treatment and did not receive it.”
Wednesday, more than a year after the altercation and after the video went viral, state police said it is launching a criminal investigation and will place Trooper Hewitt on leave.
“The VSP in April 2019 weren’t wearing body cameras so if Mr. Thompson had not created this video, there would be no record…I don’t know if we would’ve gotten the same reaction a year ago…We’re seeing much more accountability from law enforcement,” Erlich added.
While no drugs were in the car, Thompson was convicted of obstructing justice.
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