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The Latest: Suspended W.Va. trooper sued over 2016 incident

December 4, 2018

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The Latest on a West Virginia State Police investigation into allegations that a teenager was beaten during a traffic stop (all times local):

7:30 p.m.

A West Virginia state trooper who was suspended after a teen suspect allegedly was beaten during a traffic stop last month faces an excessive force lawsuit from an earlier incident.

Charles Town attorney Braun Hamstead filed the lawsuit earlier this year against Martinsburg Trooper First Class Derek Walker, who had arrested Hamstead’s wife in 2016.

The lawsuit says Walker dragged Julie Ann Hamstead in a parking lot and slammed her to the ground before placing her in handcuffs.

A federal judge in August ruled Walker was acting in his official capacity, was entitled to qualified immunity, and removed both him and the state police from the lawsuit. The judge has not ruled on an amended complaint filed in September that attempted to add Walker and state police back into the lawsuit.

A state police spokesman did not immediately comment on the lawsuit Monday.


5:25 p.m.

A West Virginia sheriff’s deputy has been suspended over a traffic stop in which the governor says two state police troopers were seen on a dashcam video beating a teenage suspect.

Berkeley County Sheriff Curtis Keller tells news outlets Deputy Austin Ennis was present during the incident and was placed on administrative leave without pay Friday.

Keller didn’t return a telephone message to The Associated Press.

The Martinsburg troopers involved in the Nov. 19 incident also were suspended without pay amid an ongoing criminal and internal investigation. State Police spokesman Maj. Reginald Patterson earlier identified them as Trooper First Class Derek R. Walker and Trooper First Class Michael W. Kennedy.

Gov. Jim Justice learned of the matter Wednesday, including the dashcam video, and ordered state police to investigate.

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