Charles “Chuck” Edward Hewitt is a Virginia Department of State Police officer. He is accused of unconstitutionally assaulting African-American man Derrick T. Thompson of Woodbridge, William County, Virginia, United States.
At around 4:15 p.m. on April 20, 2019, Thompson was stopped for an expired inspection decal while he was traveling north on Interstate 495 at the 51 mile marker in Fairfax County, Virginia. Hewitt and his fellow Virginia State Troopers conducted a search of Thompson’s vehicle and one of them believed there was a strong odor of marijuana in it.
“Brother, how do you think this is going to end?” Hewitt responded to Thompson when the latter said he believed his detention and the search were illegal. “Are you ready to go through all of this today just for that? There’s probably not even any weed in here.”
Thompson filmed the interaction with his cellphone placed on his dashboard. At one point, Hewitt looked at the cellphone camera and said, “This is going to be posted on YouTube.”
“This is going to get posted, after all of this, and I guarantee,” Hewitt continued. “Look at this. Everybody who is going to see this, I guarantee, they are going to say, you Sir, you got the coolest cop in the whole nation, the most coolest, calmest, collected cop because I ain’t even trying to be here to do that you, man, and all the comments, there’s going to be two thousand comments saying, ‘You, what a dumbass.'”
With a chokehold, Hewitt pulled Thompson out of his car. The African-American man was later on treated for an abrasion to his forehead at the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center where he was taken into custody.
The video of the encounter surfaced on social media on July 13, 2020. In a statement obtained by WTOP News, Virginia State Police superintendent Colonel Gary T. Settle said the conduct Hewitt displayed during the course of the traffic stop is neither “in agreement with the established standards of conduct required of a Virginia trooper” nor “characteristic of the service provided daily across the Commonwealth of Virginia by Virginia State Police personnel.”
An investigation started when the Virginia State Police received the video of the incident and Hewitt was placed on administrative leave. Here are 13 more facts about the Virginia State Trooper:
- He is a native of Camden, Kershaw County, South Carolina, USA.
- He previously lived in Elgin, South Carolina.
- He has lived in various areas of Virginia including Springfield, Fairfax County and Burke, Virginia and in various areas of Texas including Fort Hoot and Killeen.
- He earned a bachelor’s degree from Emory and Henry College in Emory, Virginia.
- He played baseball in Emory and Henry College.
- He met his wife Dr. Van Tran Hewitt in Emory and Henry College. They both graduated in 2005. She was cum laude. They have one daughter together.
- From 2005 to 2008, he served in the U.S. Army. He was deployed to Iraq after graduating from Emory and Henry College.
- He joined the Virginia State Police on October 10, 2010. He was a member of the 116th Basic Session which graduated from the Virginia State Police Academy in Richmond on June 24, 2011.
- He was among 62 new Virginia State Police troopers who started their career patrolling in counties and along interstates across the Commonwealth in July 2011, according to the Camden Chronicle-Independent.
- In September 2018, he was one of the Virginia State Troopers who participated in a GoRuck in Arlington, Virginia as tribute to Virginia State Police sergeant Mike Middleton, one of the first responders at the Pentagon after it was attacked on September 11, 2001.
- His annual salary was $53,766 from 2015 to 2017. He received a total of $62,376 between 2018 and 2019, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
- He was 37 years old when he encountered Thompson on April 20, 2019.
- In February 2021, the Virginia State Police fired him for cause, the Washington Post quoted Thompson’s attorney Joshua Erlich as saying.