BRISTOL, Va. (WJHL) — Video is circulating on social media involving a Bristol, Virginia police officer and a driver.
The video shows the two exchanging harsh words towards one another during a traffic stop, on Friday.
The family in the car, who captured part of the verbal exchange on video, said the officer acted unprofessionally.
The full video can be found here:
Pheben Kassahun spoke with the family about what happened leading up to the incident captured on video.
In the video, Alex Shand and Bristol, Virginia Police Officer, officer Eric Hinchey are heard in the video saying the following:
Shand: What? You about to do what?
Hinchey: I’m going to pull you out of the car and take you to jail.
Shand: Say what you just said. Say what you just said.
Hinchey: Right here, it’s on camera, bud.
“He was very belligerent and very- — he wasn’t acting professional, with being a Bristol, Virginia Police Officer,” the man whose voice can be heard in the video, Alex Shand, said. “I don’t think his actions was justified for a traffic stop for that matter of no headlights on. I wasn’t speeding. He wasn’t threatened any way by me.”
Shand: You’re not being a public servant talking about you’re going to effing do something to me.’
Hinchey: Oh Yeah
Shand: Take your badge off. I bet you won’t do it.
Hinchey: What’s that?
Shand: Take your badge off. You won’t do it.
Hinchey: Watch this. Watch this.
Friday night, Alex Shand said he and his family were heading towards a gas station when he was stopped by a Bristol, Virginia police officer, whom the department has identified as Eric Hinchey.
“Me and my family, we were at Blackbird Bakery, which at the time, my daughter headed back in the car and we head back over the hill of Cumberland Street to the Marathon, which in passing we saw a police officer that flashed his headlights. I didn’t think nothing much of, but by the time he turned the hill and turned around, he was behind me at the Marathon Gas Station,” he said.
Hinchey: I flashed my lights at him, trying to get his lights on as he came down the street. I was just going to give him a warning to turn your lights on.
Shand said: “I pulled all around the gas station and he got behind me and turned his blue lights on. Then he walked up to my car and he asked me why did I, why was I pulled over and I said, ‘I don’t know, sir. I guess I’m too sexy.'”
Shand said he did not think officer Hinchey would react the way he did. Words were exchanged between the two.
“Then he went beside himself and said that he would bust out my effing window and pull me out my effing car. That’s when I told my wife to start recording his encounter. He, which in turn, told me he would meet me anytime and any place to fight me,” Shand said.
The Bristol, Virginia police officer called backup, which involved at least four other officers, according to Shand.
Shand stated the other law enforcement officials remained professional when they arrived to the location.
“He didn’t take too kindly of it, but I do believe that it wouldn’t have made no difference, because he had a chip on his shoulder from the get-go,” Shand said. “I can’t comment on that officer because I don’t know what was going through his head.”
Hinchey: If I do all that, you will step outside?
Shand: You dang on right.
Hinchey: We’ll see. We’ll see. I’d be more than happy to meet you without my badge and gun on.
Shand: That’s fine. Let’s do it.
Shand told Kassahun he was hesitant to do the interview with News Channel 11 because he fears for the safety of his family.
“My family was in the car. They was scared and crying. My one-year-old son was scared and crying. I was also upset, nervous and just couldn’t believe that was happening,” Shand said. “I haven’t been sleeping. I believe I have a little bit of PTSD, and I haven’t been sleeping at all. My daughter hasn’t been sleeping. She wakes up crying and wife, she was terrified. I haven’t been sleeping in fear of the Bristol Virginia Police Department may have some type of retaliation against me. I was, I was actually a little bit scared to do this interview, but I have to be brave for my family, and my beliefs and my thoughts.”
However, he said he had to stand his ground in order to protect his family.
“I don’t know if that officer was being racial. I don’t know or pretend to know what was going through his mind but all lives matter, whether you’re blue, white, green or purple. Stand up for your rights and what you believe in,” Shand said. “I don’t think his actions was justified for a traffic stop for that matter of no headlights on. I wasn’t speeding. He wasn’t threatened any way by me.”
In a Facebook post, the Bristol, Virginia Police Department issued this statement:
The BVPD administration is aware of the video circulating social media about an encounter with one of our officers. It is being investigated and will be handled once all information is gathered.Bristol Virginia Police Department
Kassahun also reached out to the Bristol, Virginia Police Department’s Chief John Austin Monday, who told her they cannot release any other information because the incident involves personnel and is an active investigation.