PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Following an investigation by the Norfolk Police Department’s Office of Professional Standards-Internal Affairs Unit, Norfolk Police Officer Vincent Tocco was found in violation of department policy. The investigation began after a woman claimed police misconduct during a traffic stop last summer near Chesapeake Blvd. and Tallwood Street.

Ebony Holmes, who is from Emporia, was stopped by Officer Tocco in the early morning hours of July 5. 

10 On Your Side first exposed the traffic stop in an August 30, 2021 report prepared by investigative journalist Chris Horne. In the coverage, 10 On Your Side aired video one of Holmes’ passengers shot from inside the vehicle. In a tearful interview recorded in August, Holmes explained how the encounter affected her.

“It messed me up; I know it has messed me up,” said Holmes with activist Brandon Randleman at her side. Holmes’ attorney also provided still images which she says captured the injuries Holmes suffered during the traffic stop.

10 On Your side has obtained additional video recorded by Officer Tocco’s body-worn camera. The video was shared by Attorney Amina Matheny-Willard and co-counsel Attorney Makiba Gaines.

To set the scene, according to Holmes’ attorneys, Holmes was the designated driver. It was around 1 a.m., as she was driving friends from one location to another, when she was pulled over by Officer Tocco, who told Holmes she was driving 100 miles an hour.

10 On Your Side has transcribed a portion of the bodycam video which was recorded as a passenger contemporaneously recorded the stop from inside the vehicle.

Officer Tocco: “Is there a reason why you were driving 100 miles per hour?… Can you shut the car off for me? Is there going to be a problem; do I have to pull you out of this car?”

Ebony Holmes: “Who?”

Officer Tocco: “You.”

Ebony Holmes: “I didn’t say nothing.”

Officer Holmes: “I don’t need the attitudes… I don’t need you looking around.”

Ebony Holmes: “You’re pulling people out for speeding?”

Officer Tocco: “It’s reckless driving when you are going 100 miles an hour. You’re almost triple it. You know step out of the vehicle. Get out of the (expletive) car.”

In a matter of minutes the stop transitioned from what appeared to be a routine back-and-forth discussion to Officer Tocco being caught on his camera and a witness’ camera, entering Holmes car from an open driver’s side door. Matheny-Willard told 10 on Your Side Officer Tocco was able to quickly get his entire body inside Holmes’ car where he allegedly struck the 24-year-old.

In viewing the bodycam video, it is difficult to determine how Holmes was removed from the car. Matheny-Willard offered a description to 10 On Your Side, writing that “[Holmes was] pulled out by both feet. After she was out, her face was on the concrete when [an officer’s] knee was on her neck.”

A few minutes into the traffic stop, officer Tocco called for assistance from other officers, in efforts to remove all passengers from the car and to place Holmes under arrest.

Matheny-Willard provided photos of the injuries that were allegedly inflicted during the traffic stop. Matheny-Willard said later that night, Officer Tocco asked a magistrate to charge Holmes with felony assault and battery of a police officer, but the magistrate refused, according to Matheny-Willard, saying there was no probable cause.

“The entire time that Ebony and her passengers were stopped, Vincent Tocco was cursing, yelling, treating them really like trash,” said Matheny-Willard.

In a letter dated December 7, 2021 and addressed to Ebony Holmes, Chief Larry Boone wrote: “I have determined Officer Tocco was in violation of department policy and appropriate action has been taken.”

You can read the letter below:

Matheny-Willard claims officer Tocco has a history of complaints. In response to a public records request on the matter, the Norfolk Police Department advised that there are “five files related to Officer Tocco’s personnel information” but would not comment further since it is a personnel matter.

Holmes faces charges of obstruction/resisting without force and reckless driving with speed above 85mph. She’s due in General District Court in late February to answer to the charges.

Holmes’ attorneys say they may file charges in federal court against Officer Tocco, other officers who were on the scene, and the City of Norfolk, alleging violation of civil rights and other counts.

10 On Your Side does not know officer Tocco’s employment status with the police department and a spokesperson said no comments will be offered in what is a personnel matter.

A retired law enforcement officer viewed the video and told 10 On Your Side mistakes were made during the stop and that Officer Tocco may have violated safety protocols by entering a vehicle containing a driver and passengers.

BELOW: Watch witness video taken during the traffic stop. Footage has been muted due to profanity.

Last week, Matt Watson, president of the Norfolk Police Union, told 10 On Your Side Officer Tocco has not reached out to his office for assistance.

WAVY Investigative Producer Adrienne Mayfield reviewed state records and determined Officer Tocco has not been decertified. Attorney Matheny-Willard told 10 On Your Side she will seek decertification of officer Tocco as part of the federal court litigation.