Local, state police respond to allegations made in viral Twitter post

Posted at 2:17 PM, Apr 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-26 14:17:10-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – Police departments in Hampton Roads, as well as Virginia State Police, have responded to abuse allegations said to involve a local police department made in a Twitter post that has been shared over 100,000 times.

Tuesday morning, a series of tweets were published by a woman detailing an alleged situation involving her boyfriend that had occurred in Virginia Beach in the early morning hours.

The woman claims her boyfriend had left their Norfolk home around 10:30 p.m. to drop a friend at the Newport News-Williamsburg International Airport and had stopped at a 7-Eleven in Virginia Beach on the way back. At the 7-Eleven, the man reportedly gave a panhandler some change before returning to his vehicle and getting back on the road. As he got onto the interstate, the woman says he was pulled over and police told him they had seen him give the panhandler change. The tweets then detail an aggressive approach by an officer demanding information and making accusations that he had marijuana in the vehicle. The woman says her boyfriend was asked to get out of the car with his hands on his head and he was reportedly held at gunpoint while the officer continued to demand his information. At some point, she says additional officers and someone identifying themselves as a Sheriff showed up at the scene. The officers allegedly breathalyzed the man and used a K-9 to search his vehicle. He was eventually let go and allowed to call her and tell her what was going on, she says, and he returned home.

The Virginia Beach Police Department responded to the woman several times on Tuesday after the tweets started to gain traction. They said they were looking into the incident but it did not appear to have involved any of their officers.

Virginia Beach Police said in a statement Thursday that they have continued to make efforts to reach out to the woman to gather more information for an internal investigation but have received no reply.

“Our agency took this allegation very seriously and immediately began searching all incident reports and dispatch logs from our Emergency 911 dispatchers and we have found absolutely no such incident, as described, having occurred in Virginia Beach or involving Virginia Beach officers. The Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office who also confirmed they had no deputies involved in such an incident. The VBPD contacted all surrounding police agencies in the Hampton Roads area to include the Virginia State Police and no police agency reported any similar incident occurring within their respective jurisdictions. We have reached out to the person who posted the Twitter thread to gather more information for an internal investigation and received no reply.”

The Norfolk Police Department, Newport News Police Department, and Hampton Police Department all tweeted responses to the incident, with each saying their departments and officers were not involved. Spokespersons for both the Chesapeake Police Department and Virginia State Police told News 3 their departments were also not involved.

Virginia Beach Police say they’ve received inquiries from around the country regarding this alleged incident.

“Since this post went viral, our Department has heard from many around the country who have unfairly, and with little to no information other than this Twitter thread, rushed to judgment against our agency and our officers. We wish to reassure the public that our officers are consummate professionals who dedicated to their jobs and take very seriously, their sense of service to their fellow citizens, and that the behavior described in the original Twitter post does not reflect the values of this agency, the City of Virginia Beach and its police officers.”

Posted by Virginia Beach Police Department on Thursday, April 26, 2018

News 3 has also made several efforts to reach out to the woman to gather more details on the story and has received no reply.