Lawyer tries to get traffic charge waived for woman who claims Norfolk cop hit her during traffic stop
An attorney representing Ebony Holmes showed police body camera video of a traffic stop in July 2021, where Holmes says an officer punched her.
NORFOLK, Virginia – Author’s note: The above video is recorded from August 2021, when Ebony Holmes first shared video of a traffic stop in Norfolk with 13News Now.
In court on Monday, a lawyer representing Ebony Holmes showed police video of a traffic stop involving Holmes, his friends and officers from the Norfolk Police Department.
Holmes claims that in July 2021, a Norfolk police officer punched her during the arraignment.
“It’s just hard for me to come and watch it and hear it sweep like nothing’s wrong,” Holmes said.
Holmes is currently facing charges of reckless driving and obstruction of justice over the traffic stop, but his attorney is trying to have the charges dismissed. Both are misdemeanor charges.
Amina Matheny-Willard said the police officer did not follow Virginia’s statutes and arrested Holmes instead of giving her a summons, which she says is against the law. She also said the officer did not defuse the situation.
“We shouldn’t be here,” Matheny-Willard said. “These charges should be dismissed solely on the basis of everything she’s been through and the things he’s done.”
In court on Monday, the police officer told a judge that Holmes assaulted him by opening his car door and punching him. In an interview with Holmes outside of court, she said she followed his orders and got out of the car.
“When she opened the car to get out, that’s when he got more angry and it escalated from there,” Matheny-Willard said.
The policeman said that his actions were not perfect during this traffic stop. He said he was a member of the NPD’s special operations team and played an anti-crime role, and was tasked with providing visibility in a high-crime area after several shootings at near this place.
He said when he arrested Holmes six people were in a five-person vehicle and one of them had a gun.
Matheny-Willard said the gun was legal and registered to someone in the car.
He also said they were going nearly 100mph in a 35mph zone, which Holmes says is not true.
The officer also said he asked for everyone’s ID and said it was considered reasonable.
Matheny-Willard said the officer tried to bring a felony assault charge against Holmes after the traffic stop.
“They spoke to him and asked him what happened, so kudos to the magistrate who didn’t do that,” she said.
A judge has pursued the case and will soon decide to dismiss the charges. The next court date for the pre-trial motions is scheduled for April 25, 2022.
“If he rejects my request, I will appeal to the Court of Appeal, then we will come back here and it will be the trial. So still a long way to go,” explained Matheny-Willard.
Holmes, Matheny-Willard and civil rights activists are calling on Norfolk Police Chief Larry Boone to fire the officer. They also want the officer to be decertified.
13News Now has contacted Norfolk Police Department leaders for comment and is awaiting a response.