State Troopers Suspended After Video Shows Beating of Martinsburg Teenager
This is a developing story and will be updated.
Two West Virginia state troopers have been suspended without pay pending an investigation into an incident in which a 16-year-old Martinsburg white male was beaten.
West Virginia State Police say the suspect was involved in a Monday, Nov. 19 crash with a sheriff's department cruiser and then crashed again following a pursuit. The suspect was apprehended, transported to a hospital and then later released.
"It was during the apprehension process, where the Response to Resistance/Aggression actions of the troopers came into question and led to the suspensions. The West Virginia State Police has initiated a criminal and internal investigation, upon reviewing an in-car camera video," Patterson said in a release.
In an email to West Virginia Public Broadcasting, State Police spokesperson Maj. Reginald Patterson identified the two troopers involved in the incident as Trooper First Class Derek R. Walker and Trooper First Class Michael W. Kennedy. Patterson said both troopers have approximately seven years with the department.
Gov. Jim Justice said he was notified of the incident and has instructed State Police superintendent Col. J.L. Cahill to open an investigation and pursue criminal charges against the troopers if warranted.
“We have so many brave and respected men and women of law enforcement across West Virginia; all this does is cast a dark shadow on them. If this is the case, it will NOT be tolerated,” Gov. Justice said in a news release.
Maj. Patterson said additional comment from the West Virginia State Police cannot be made and video cannot be released while the incident is under investigation. He also said the suspect / victim's age will not be released because of age, privacy issues and the ongoing investigation.