“Watch the show”: Viral video draws controversy on Virginia State Police

FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. – A Virginia State Trooper is on leave and under investigation for his alleged conduct during a traffic stop.

A video shows him pulling a man out of his car by the neck.

State police say the officer violated the department’s standards of conduct.

This video from April of 2019 showing a heated exchange between Derrick Thompson and Virginia State Trooper Charles Hewitt.

Thompson was pulled over for having an expired inspection decal. The trooper insisted that Thompson exit the car, saying it wreaked of marijuana.

Thompson stayed put and recorded it all in a video that’s now gone viral.

Trooper Hewitt then smiled at the camera and said, “Watch the show.” “My life is in danger. My life is in danger,” Thompson said in response.

The trooper pulled Thompson from the car by his neck and asked, “How do you like that, huh?”

“He’s smiling for the camera, he appears to be hamming it up. That’s what makes this video truly terrifying,” said Joshua Erlich, attorney for Derrick Thompson.

Virginia State Police also finding Thompson was driving with a suspended license.

Still, Timothy Williams, a retired Los Angeles detective, now an expert on officer conduct cases, says those reasons don’t warrant Hewitt’s actions.

“The force that you saw there, in my opinion, was totally excessive. It didn’t have to happen. This was again, an infraction,” said Timothy Williams, expert on officer conduct.

Thompson didn’t report what happened until just recently.

“This is a video of his worst moment. He was, he was concerned and for good reason, that this was something that this is not something he wanted to publicize,” said Erlich.

This week, Erlich sent a letter to attorney general Mark Herring, demanding charges for Trooper Hewitt.

“There should be some disciplinary action taken because what he did was wrong. dead wrong,” said Williams.

The attorney general and Virginia State Police declined initial requests for interviews.