Va. sheriff's office releases body cam video of traffic stop after woman claims racism
BRUNSWICK Co., Va. (WSET) -- After a woman accused a Virginia deputy of racism, the sheriff's office has released a full, uninterrupted body cam video of the incident.
Dawn Hilton-Williams went Facebook Live after she was stopped by the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office on Route 58 saying she was bullied by the cop and her video went viral.
"I was just bullied by a racist cop, who threatened to pull me out of the car," said Hilton-Williams in the 11-minute long Facebook video. "This is where we got lynched. This is where we got lynched, even in today's day."
According to WTVR in Richmond, the traffic stop happened on April 27 when Hilton-Williams was heading home to Greensville, South Carolina.
In the video, she said she feared for her life.
She was pulled over for going 70 in a 55 mph zone and when asked to sign the traffic summons, she said she was not going to sign it because she didn't see any traffic signs with the speed limit posted.
According to the body cam video, the sergeant told her if she didn't sign it, he was going to have to arrest her.
"I started getting calls from citizens asking what is going on. They had seen a posting and were concerned about how I would allow it to happen," said Brunswick County Sheriff Brian Roberts, after the video went viral on Facebook.
The traffic stop:
"Can I ask what you what you pulled me over for?" Hilton-Williams asked in the video.
"The reason why I stopped you is I clocked you at 70. The speed limit here is 55,” said the stopping sergeant.
“There's no sign," replied Hilton-Williams.
Deputy: Alright ma'am, what I have here for you is a traffic summons for Brunswick County General...
Hilton-Williams: It's a traffic summons.
Deputy: Yes, for Brunswick County General District traffic court. Your court date is going to be June the 6th at 10:30 for a 70 in a 55 mile per hour zone.
Hilton-Williams: Where is the sign that says it's 55 mile per hour?
Deputy: Numerous places.
Hilton-Williams: Numerous places where? I mean between the gas station I just came from and right here?
Deputy: I mean numerous numerous places back that way. You are more than welcome to go back there and look at them, take pictures of them or whatever you want to do.
Hilton-Williams: So you didn't give me a warning? You gave me an actual ticket?
Deputy: No warnings today ma'am.
Deputy: So your court date will be June the 6th at 10:30 for speeding 70 in a 55. You have the option to prepay this. I'm going to give you a phone number, plus a website that has our courthouse information. If you contact our courts they will tell you what the fine is, answer any one of your questions and if you decide to prepay it, you do not have to come to court.
Hilton-Williams: I will not be paying this ticket.
Deputy: If you don't want to prepay it, you'll have to come to court on June 6th at 10:30.
Hilton-Williams: I'll hire an attorney.
Deputy: I need you to sign right here.
Hilton-Williams: I'm not going to sign that ticket.
Deputy: Uhh ma'am, okay.
Hilton-Williams: I don't have to sign it.
Deputy: So ma'am.
Hilton-Williams: But I appreciate it.
Deputy: Hold on... So, what you are signing here is a promise to either come to court or promise to prepay. It is not an admission of guilt. It's only a promise to me that you're going to get it taken care of by either coming to court or prepaying it. If you refuse to sign the summons at this point, I'm gonna have to get you out of the side of the police car, place you under arrest and take you in front of a magistrate. I will get your vehicle towed and go from there. So, yes ma'am you do not have a choice...
Hilton-Williams: My cousin is on the phone.
Deputy: I don't care about that. I don't care who's on the phone. I'm talking to you right now. You do not have a choice but to sign summons. See thank you. I knew you was gonna sign it. I appreciate it very much and you have a safe day. Okay, thank you.
After Sheriff Roberts released the body cam footage, Hilton-Williams told WTVR she remembered things differently.
"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,” Sheriff Roberts told WTVR.
Hilton-Williams said she expected the sergeant to tell her to step out of the car and felt what he said was threatening.
Roberts said he has not received a formal complaint about the incident, but Hilton-Williams said she plans to file that complaint soon.