Trooper off force after viral video shows man pulled from vehicle during traffic stop

Around the South

WARNING: The video below contains some profanity and may be offensive to some viewers.

FAIRFAX, Va. (AP/WNCN) – A white state trooper who was seen on video telling a Black driver “you are going to get your a– whipped” is no longer with the Virginia State Police.

The Washington Post reports that spokeswoman Corinne Geller said state police were prohibited from releasing additional detail about Charles Hewitt, the trooper seen in a viral video of a 2019 traffic stop.

An attorney for driver Derrick Thompson of Woodbridge said he was told during the settlement of a lawsuit over the incident that Hewitt was fired for cause in February.

Erlich said the lawsuit was settled earlier this month for $20,000, with no admission of wrongdoing by the state.

Police say the traffic stop happened April 20, 2019, around 4:15 p.m. on Interstate 495. Thompson was initially pulled over for an expired inspection sticker.

Police said Thompson was found to be operating on a suspended driver’s license during the stop. Troopers also said they smelled the odor of marijuana in his vehicle.

Additional troopers responded to the scene at that time.

Thompson began recording using his cellphone, and refused multiple times to exit the vehicle, police allege.

In the cellphone video, Hewitt unlocks Thompson’s vehicle, opens up the car door, bends down to Thompson and says, while pointing at himself, “take a look at me buddy, I am a [expletive] specimen.”

The trooper continues, “You have gotten on my last nerve,” before he looks directly into the camera and says, “you’re going to get your ass whooped in front of [expletive] Lord and all creation.”

Thompson is holding his hands up as the cellphone video records. He’s heard saying, “I am of no threat to these officers.”

He repeatedly says in the video, “I am being threatened.”

After giving Thompson another warning to exit the vehicle, Hewitt unlocks Thompson’s seat belt. Both exchange words and after Hewitt gives Thompson another warning, he says Thompson is now under arrest for disobeying an officer.

Hewitt then looks into the cellphone camera, counts to two and says, “watch the show folks,” before pulling Thompson out of the vehicle by his neck.

“How do you like that, huh?” Trooper Hewitt is heard saying, although the cellphone camera doesn’t catch footage of the arrest.

“Sir, please get off my neck. I’m not resisting. Get off my neck, sir,” says Thompson. “You are harming me, you are harming me.”

The clip ends.

Thompson was taken to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center where he was evaluated for a minor abrasion on his forehead.

— WAVY-TV and WRIC contributed to this report

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