FAIRFAX, Va. -- A prosecutor has opted against filing criminal charges against a Virginia State Police trooper who played to the camera as he forcefully removed a Black motorist from his car during a traffic stop.
Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Steve Descano said Tuesday in a statement that he found Trooper Charles Hewitt’s actions during the 2019 traffic stop distasteful but legal.
“Although we can all agree that this officer’s demeanor does not conform to what our community would hope to see from law enforcement officers, our review is limited to issues of criminal liability,” Descano’s office said in a statement. “Bearing that in mind, this Office has determined that there is no basis for a criminal charge arising from this incident.”
A video of the arrest was widely viewed earlier this year showing Hewitt using obscenities and aggressively responding to driver Derrick Thompson when he refused to comply with repeated requests to exit the vehicle.
The trooper can be heard on video telling the driver he would get “whooped” before forcefully removing him from his vehicle.
Hewitt smiles at the camera and says, "Watch the show, folks” as he puts his arms around Thompson’s neck and hauls him from the car.