A traffic stop made by a Virginia State trooper in 2019 has caused outrage as video footage from the encounter shows him violently snatching a Black driver from his vehicle.
According to WWBT, officer Charles Hewitt is on camera forcibly grabbing Derrick Thompson out of his car during a traffic stop in Fairfax. The whole incident began because the officers involved said they smelled marijuana in the vehicle. However, drugs were never found.
Although the clip was recorded by Thompson on his phone last year, it’s now getting more attention since police brutality has, once again, been placed in the national spotlight due to the deaths of people like George Floyd and Breonna Taylor. Thomas has now secured an attorney and they are calling for action to be taken against the officer.
“Take a look at me. I’m a f*cking specimen right here buddy,” Trooper Hewitt says in the video with other officers surrounding Thompson’s car.
“Sir, my hands are up. I’m in no threat to the officer,” Thompson replies.
“You’re going to get your ass whooped in front of f*cking Lord and all creation,” Hewitt said.
“They just illegally opened my car and I’m being forcibly removed,” Thompson continues in the video. He was traveling to work at the time. At one point in the video, Hewitt even unbuckles Thompson’s seat belt, clearly preparing for his removal.
The back-and-forth between Hewitt and Thompson eventually escalated, with Hewitt counting down, “One, two, watch the show folks.” This is when Hewitt snatches Thompson from the car. The video footage didn’t catch what was going on outside the vehicle.
“How do you like that mother f*cker? How do you like that?” Hewitt says off-camera in the video.
“I’m not resisting…Get off my neck sir, you are harming me,” Thompson is heard saying.
Watch the video below.
“He appears to be enjoying himself,” explained 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.”
Despite drugs not being found in the car, Thompson was convicted of obstructing justice.
Hewitt has now been placed on leave and now, more than a year after the incident occurred, the state police said it is launching a criminal investigation.
“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 said.