Domestic assault charge against Virginia Beach cop dropped, but internal probe remains open

Shawn Walter Hoffman, a Sargeant with the City of Virginia Beach Police Department's Internal Affairs Division, was arrested for domestic assault early Sunday morning (Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of the Virginia Beach Police Department)
Virginia Beach Police Sgt. Shawn Walter Hoffman. (Southside Daily photo/Courtesy of the Virginia Beach Police Department)

A criminal charge against a Virginia Beach police officer was dropped on Tuesday, said Stephanie Pass, deputy commonwealth’s attorney for the City of Chesapeake, who was designated as special prosecutor for the case.

Sgt. Shawn Walter Hoffman arrested July 1 after officers responded to a “domestic related incident” at Hoffman’s home, according to a July news release from the VBPD.

A domestic assault charge against Hoffman was dropped Tuesday, and Pass would not comment on the reason for the charges being dropped.

Although the incident was in Virginia Beach, criminal charges against Virginia Beach police officers are sometimes handled by prosecutors from other municipalities to avoid conflicts of interest, said Amanda Herman, Virginia Beach Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office spokeswoman.

Related story: Virginia Beach cop arrested following a ‘domestic related incident’

In July, Virginia Beach Police spokeswoman Linda Kuehn said Hoffman was “reassigned to other duties,” and not placed on leave. Per procedure, Kuehn said Hoffman’s badge and city-issued firearm were confiscated.

On Wednesday, Tonya Pierce, another Virginia Beach Police spokeswoman, said Hoffman was still employed with the department and “there is still an open internal investigation” regarding Hoffman’s conduct.

Pierce would not comment any further.

It is unclear whether Hoffman’s badge and gun have been returned to him or whether he is still on administrative duties, as questions posed by Southside Daily to police on those matters went unanswered.

Officials said Hoffman has worked for the the department since 1982 and is one of six sergeants assigned to the VBPD’s Internal Affairs Division.

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