An internal affairs investigation is underway after a video purportedly showing Virginia Beach police officers abusing kids over suspicion of marijuana has gone viral.
The officers accused of this unnecessary roughness claim to have no knowledge of the video ever being captured, but the girl who shot the footage said that they actually attempted to delete the evidence from her phone.
This tale began sometime in January when 18-year-old Courtney Griffith and a few friends were pulled over along a stretch of road due to a faulty license plate light. Understanding that the potential existed for a roadside shakedown, Griffith positioned her cell phone on the dashboard and proceeded to document her interaction with the long arm of the law.
Reports indicate that one of the cops, Officer Pittman, had harassed Griffith in the past and had even busted her once for possession of marijuana. Almost immediately after approaching the vehicle, one of the officers claimed that the passengers smelled like marijuana, which Griffith quickly suggested was not possible.
Soon, additional officers arrived on the scene, dishing out almost every harassment tactic in the book in hopes of digging up something incriminating on the kids.
In the video, Griffith asks if she is being detained, to which an officer confirms that she is. Eventually, the boys in blue order the teens to keep their hands positioned in plain sight, and at one point, all of them are asked to exit the vehicle. Griffith demanded that a sergeant be present, while her 17-year-old friend Brandon, who was in the backseat, asked numerous time for his parents to be called.
This is when the situation seemed to transition into a scene of police brutality.
An officer begins to reach into the backseat to pull Brandon out of the vehicle, and although the kid is obviously scared and asking for his parents, the cop douses his eyes with pepper spay and eventually throttles him several times with a high-powered Taser. Reports indicate that by the time the situation had escalated to this extreme, eight cops were on the scene, five of which had a hand in ripping Brandon out of the vehicle and giving him a savage beat down.
One of the officers obviously understood just how much trouble he and his buddies would be in if the footage of the attack was made public, because a cop can be seen at the end of the video shutting off the camera.
Griffith said the cops knew they had screwed the pooch because they tried to delete the video.
“They arrested me, never Mirandized me or Brandon and they sent me off with a summons,” she told The Free Thought Project. “When I went back to my car, my phone had been brought off the dashboard and was on the drivers seat. I asked the cops who deleted the video, after looking for it in my folder, and they all started laughing. It was sickening. I later found it in my recently deleted folder.”
Now, those Virginia Beach police officers are being accused of using excessive force. Police Chief Jim Cervera, who was only made aware of the footage within the past week, recently told WTKR that he was not comfortable with what he witnessed on the video and that he was in contact with the Commonwealth’s attorney to determine if tampering with evidence charges are possible.
Brandon, the minor who was beaten and Tased by the cops, was charged with assaulting police officers, according to one report. He is currently sitting in a juvenile detention facility until he can answer to the charges sometime in July.