Based on an incident that took place a year ago, Virginia State Police have opened up a criminal investigation into the incident where a trooper is seen, on video, violently removing a Black driver from his vehicle, according to WSET.
Derrick Thompson was pulled over by a state trooper on April 20, 2019, as he was traveling north on Interstate 495 in Fairfax County. Once he is stopped, police said the trooper alleges that Thompson was driving with a suspended driver’s license. The trooper also stated that there was a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside the car. Based on those factors, the trooper called in additional troopers to respond to help with the traffic stop.
The police said that Thompson refused to comply with the trooper’s request to get out of the vehicle. About 10 minutes later when Thompson still hadn’t exited his vehicle, Trooper Charles Hewitt told Thompson that he was being placed under arrest. Thompson still refused to leave his car, so he was forcibly removed from his vehicle and taken into custody.
Thompson stated that he didn’t feel comfortable when the state trooper told him to vacate his car. Feeling uneasy about the interaction, he started filming the encounter which shows when the trooper violently grabs him by the neck and pulls him from his car.
Today, we sent a letter to @MarkHerringVA about Virginia State Trooper Charles Hewitt.
In April 2019, Derrick Thompson was driving to work when Hewitt terrorized and assaulted him. pic.twitter.com/YTSCeDLM9j
— Joshua Erlich (@JoshuaErlich) July 13, 2020
Thompson was charged with obstruction of justice, driving on a suspended license, and for an expired inspection decal.
“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,” The Virginia State Police says in a statement.
Hewitt has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
— VA State Police (@VSPPIO) July 15, 2020