Dawn Hilton-Williams was pulled over by a Virginia cop for a speeding violation, little did the cop know that doing his job was racism… at least that is what Hilton-Williams accused him of during a Facebook Live video on April 27.
The video went viral and her tearful rant went on to call the interaction a “lynching,” and Hilton-Williams mentions the name of Sandra Bland, a woman of color who committed suicide in jail after a traffic stop.
“I was just bullied by a racist cop,” claims Hilton-Williams. “This is where we got lynched. This is where we got lynched, even in today’s day.”
She goes on: “I mean pulling you out of a car doesn’t seem like a big deal, but when you are African-American and you get pulled out of the car you get shot or you get tased, or you get Sandra Bland-ed. … I said ‘I’m not putting my signature on that ticket.’ He said ‘if you don’t sign this ticket, then I’m going to pull you out of the car and I’ll arrest you, and I’ll impound the car.'”
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Upon viewing the video, many people called the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office demanding answers to the accusations made. So, the sheriff’s office responded by releasing the full body camera and it is a very different interaction than what Hilton-Williams describes.
“I started getting calls from citizens asking what is going on,” explained Sheriff Brian Roberts. “They had seen a posting and were concerned about how I would allow it to happen.”
Once Roberts saw the video, he stated that the stop was routine and his deputy did nothing wrong. The sheriff goes on to say that her false accusations are fuel to the fire of cop-hatred, which has often resulted in cops being killed in their cruisers.
“I don’t know what she has been through and I don’t know her life history, what I worry about is this kind of thing will inflame situations where you see cops in other states have been executed while they were just eating lunch,” he explained. “We’ve had dash cams for 10 years and body cams on our persons for about three or four. It’s to protect the public and our agency. This is a fine example. This entire incident was recorded on a body camera and it’s all lies.”
After the sheriff released the footage, Hilton- Williams back tracked saying her recollection of the encounter was different, “Get or pull. All he had to do was say step out of the car ma’am. I felt that it was threatening and I didn’t feel safe because he’s got the gun and he’s got the badge,” she said.
“I wish society was different, I wish it wasn’t normalized. I wish that everybody’s traffic stop was the same so that people would just feel normal,” Hilton-Williams continued. “I certainly did feel Sandra Bland. I saw that and felt it … like that was about to happen to me. Like, what do I need to do and that I was scared.”
Sheriff Roberts came back with, “This video here, there are things I could go over and critique the officer on, it’s not racial things, it’s not hate things. Certainly some etiquette or verbal judo that could be fixed and improved upon,” he said. “What’s ultimately going to be accomplished, it’s not going to make the ticket go away, it’s not going to solve anything. It’s only causing more problems.”
Speaking with CBS 6, the woman still plans to file a complaint against the deputy.
Here’s the Facebook Live video:
Here is what actually happened. You tell us if this is racist or not.