FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. - Virginia State Police have released body camera video of a traffic stop in Fairfax County that quickly took a turn for the worse.
Troopers say the woman was pulled over because her headlights and taillights were out – but the situation escalated when she was pulled out of the car, handcuffed and arrested.
The stop happened at around 2:30 a.m. on March 6.
In April, the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office wrote a letter indicating that Juanisha Brooks’ traffic stop was "without proper legal basis."
Brooks told FOX 5 that she was on the Beltway when the Trooper turned on his lights. She pulled over only after she found what she believed was a safe location.
According to Brooks, the Trooper refused to tell her why she’d been pulled over, and instead dragged her out of the car and handcuffed her.
Brooks says she was terrified.
"It was 2:3O in the morning - I was by myself and all I could think about is situations where black drivers were stopped for traffic stops and then they were killed," she said.
When Brooks—who works for the Department of Defense -- was finally released from custody, she was told her car was in a tow lot with all of her belongings inside – it took her five hours with no phone or money to get to the lot and retrieve her belongings – despite asking the trooper for help.
The Commonwealth’s Attorney dropped the charges citing a new law that went into effect on March 1st prohibiting officers from pulling people over for dark taillights – but the State Police are standing by the Trooper’s actions, saying he followed protocol when Brooks declined to comply with his requests.
He also offered this statement:
"It’s sickening and unacceptable that any member of our community fears for their safety during a routine traffic stop. That’s why I will not rest until we bring about the day when this is no longer the case."