Black man takes legal action after being assaulted by Virginia state trooper

The victim, Derrick Thompson, recorded the assault that occurred during a traffic stop last year.

via screengrab

A Virginia State trooper is under investigation for terrorizing and assaulting a Black motorist during a traffic stop last year that was captured on camera. 

In April 2019, Derrick Thompson was driving to work when he was pulled over by a female trooper for an expired inspection sticker. That trooper claimed to smell marijuana coming from his car. When Thompson refused to allow a search of his vehicle, she called for back-up, Washington Post reports. 

Trooper Charles Hewitt was one of the officers who responded to the scene. He can be heard on video yelling at Thompson: “Take a look at me. I am a f—ing specimen right here, buddy. You have gotten on my last nerve, all right?”

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Hewitt is also heard saying “ You are going to get your ass whooped in front of f***** Lord and all creation. I am going to give you one more chance. You bring that with you, I’ll let you film the whole thing.”

At one point, Hewitt looked into the camera and said, “Watch the show, folks,” before he pulls Thompson from the car. 

The disturbing incident came to light when Thompson’s attorney detailed the assault in a letter to Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring on Monday. 

The attorney also tweeted video of the encounter that Thompson recorded on his cellphone.

“The conduct displayed by Trooper Hewitt during the course of the traffic stop is not in agreement with the established standards of conduct required of a Virginia trooper. Nor is it characteristic of the service provided daily across the Commonwealth of Virginia by Virginia State Police personnel,” Virginia State Police superintendent, Col. Gary T. Settle  said in the statement.

Thompson was reportedly arrested and charged with misdemeanor obstruction of justice without force. He pleaded guilty in court earlier this year, according to court records. 

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“That was honestly the worst thing I’ve gone through in my life,” Thompson said in an interview. “It’s shocking. Reliving the moment through social media has been shaky.”

He has not yet filed a lawsuit, as Thompson and his attorney are hoping to reach a resolution without legal action, according to report.

Thompson is calling for Hewitt to be fired and charged for the incident.

Thompson’s lawyer, Joshua Erlich, noted in the letter that after his client was removed from the car, “The other troopers search Mr. Thompson’s vehicle. No evidence of any crime was found in Mr. Thompson’s vehicle.”

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