MARTINSBURG, WV (WOAY) – The West Virginia State Police has immediately placed two troopers from the Martinsburg detachment on administrative leave without pay, upon learning of an incident with a suspect.
On Monday, November 19, 2018, allegedly the suspect was involved in a crash with a sheriff’s department cruiser, a pursuit ensued, the suspect crashed and was apprehended by law enforcement.
The suspect was found to be a 16-year-old, white male, which was transported to a hospital and subsequently released. It was during the apprehension process, where the Response to resistance and 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. The State Police cannot make additional statements about this incident until a thorough and complete investigation has been completed. The name of the victim will not be released by our agency because of age, privacy issues, and ongoing investigation.
The State Police is not aware of any complainants related to this incident.
Gov. Jim Justice issued the following statement regarding the incident:
“I was notified last night of an incident in Martinsburg, WV involving two troopers from the Martinsburg Detachment and a 16-year-old male suspect. The suspect was stopped by troopers after a pursuit and dashcam video taken at the scene shows the suspect being beaten by the two troopers. While I proudly support the brave efforts of our law enforcement agencies every day it must be perfectly clear that I will NOT tolerate this kind of behavior in any way, shape, form, or fashion. I have instructed Col. Cahill to begin an investigation immediately and to pursue criminal charges if warranted to prevent behavior like this from ever happening again.”
“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.”
The two troopers involved have been suspended without pay pending the investigation. An accompanying press release from the West Virginia State Police will provide additional details.