HAMPTON, Va. – The Hampton Police Department has released dash cam video of a May 2015 traffic stop, after allegations of police brutality.
Andrew Wiggins told our sister station in Norfolk that his jaw was shattered and his tongue was nearly severed during the incident. He also said a few of his teeth had to be removed.
On May 14, officers were in the South Back River Road and Newport News Avenue area when they saw a gold minivan being driven by someone who they knew had a suspended driver’s license. Wiggins was one of three passengers inside.
Police stopped the car and asked the occupants to step out while they searched. Officers said they found a small amount of marijuana debris in the seat where Wiggins was sitting. That’s when officers started to search Wiggins while he leaned against the side of the van door.
Police said the door began to close, sliding sideways as Wiggins tried to adjust his balance. They said this caused him to fall onto the ground, and that's when he suffered a facial injury.
Police said they called for medics and Wiggins was taken to the hospital for treatment.
Wiggins’ wife, Linda, said the officer apologized for what happened to her husband, but she also claims when he told them he was losing his balance, the officers ignored him several times.
She said, "He was forced to lean against the vehicle and had his feet snatch from beneath him while informing Officer Ramirez he was losing his balance. Andre begged Officer Ramirez three times as he was losing his balance and said, 'Please don't let me fall.'"
The driver of the vehicle, Kenneth Lovell Piggee, 46, was arrested for falsely identifying himself. Police said he also had a warrant on file for revocation of a suspended license. He had been declared a habitual offender.
On Monday, the department posted the following message about the incident on their Facebook page:
At the Hampton Police Division, we deeply value our relationship with the citizens we serve. Transparency and open communication is always our top priority. In this video, an individual falls during a search and suffers a facial injury. We have attached a link to the entire press release that provides further information.
We wanted you to know that we take injuries and accidents very seriously, and a full internal investigation is being conducted. Thank you for your continued support, and understanding.
Click here for a link to their full press release.