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Virginia Cops Arrest Employee for Stealing a Package That Resurfaced While He Was In Custody. The Charges Were Dropped — But He Still Got Fired

A Black man from Virginia says he was falsely accused of stealing from his former employer, who fired him even after the allegations were found to be false 10 minutes after Virginia Beach Police Department officers took him into custody.

On Feb. 12, James Humphrey, who previously worked as a shipping manager for GBRS Group, said via a GoFundMe campaign that he has “endured immense emotional distress and financial strain” since the ordeal.

He shared via TikTok the body camera footage detailing what happened during his arrest on Dec. 4, 2023. The video of the incident has gone viral with more than 5 million views. 

Virginia Cops Arrest Employee for Stealing a Package That Resurfaced While He Was In Custody. The Charges Were Dropped -- But He Still Got Fired
Virginia Beach Police arrested James Humphrey after he was wrongfully accused of stealing a package. (Photo: GoFundMe)

It shows a GBRS Group employee telling officers, “We saw him leave with the box,” referring to security camera footage that appeared to show Humphrey leaving the tactical training and brand consulting company with the box and returning without it.

The box contained a BCM lower, a part of an AR-15 rifle, the employee said in the clip.

“He didn’t send it?” an officer is heard asking the employee. “No, it’s still outstanding. The shipment still hasn’t been scanned in,” the man responds, according to the body cam footage.

Humphrey, who said he dealt with hundreds of packages a day, explains in a separate video that two weeks prior to his arrest, he and another associate were asked about a missing package with no shipping number. He said via TikTok he told his employer that he didn’t know where the package went and suggested they check the security cameras.

“They had checked the cameras over the weekend, and it’s me walking out with the box, leaving for like 6 minutes and coming back without the box,” Humphrey explained in the clip, chuckling. 

“It might’ve been after I dropped it off somewhere, FedEx, UPS,” he said.

The following Monday, after the employer checked the footage, police arrived at Humphrey’s now-former workplace.

“I thought they was coming to buy some belts, whole time, they coming to get me,” Humphrey said.

Humphrey faced a grand larceny of a firearm charge, which is a felony that carries a potential $2,500 fine and up to 20 years imprisonment.

The body camera shows officers approaching Humphrey in the office. “What’s going on?” he says as the officers begin handcuffing and explaining the charge. 

“Larceny, this is crazy, bro,” Humphrey responds in disbelief.

Officers transported Humphrey downtown, and in the interrogation room, he explained the nature of his job, which he said often involved taking packages from the building to couriers.

“I guess they didn’t believe that because at the end, he was charging me,” Humphrey said via TikTok.

As an officer transported him to the jail, he said the officer received a call that the supposedly stolen package had been returned to GBRS Group.

“He went to the magistrate and said, ‘drop the larceny charge, the package came back,’ and I’m like, ‘what? God is working!’” Humphrey said.

Body cam footage shows officers returning him to his job. Inside, the officers speak with the employee who raised the complaint, who shows them the box and says, “Ten minutes after you guys left, this showed up.”

Humphrey said he got his stuff from work and left and was fired two days later.

“Despite the swift discovery of the item and my innocence, the repercussions have been severe,” Humphrey wrote on his GoFundMe page, which has drawn in over $52,000 in donations. “I have lost my job, my reputation has been tarnished, and I am left to pick up the pieces and rebuild my life from scratch,” he said.

“Adding insult to injury, the police officer involved in the case assured my employer that he would ‘document the heck out of the report’ to absolve them of any potential repercussions, further exacerbating the injustice I have faced,” Humphrey wrote.

Humphrey said he believed he may have initially grabbed the box without checking the label, leading him to mistake it for a FedEx box and dropping it off there.

“I think I just dropped it off behind the counter, didn’t get a receipt for it,” Humphrey said. “If I would’ve got a receipt, I probably would’ve noticed the UPS label.”

He said FedEx likely realized it was a UPS package, so the courier gave the box to UPS, which then returned the box to Humphrey’s former place of employment.

People have taken to the Virginia Beach Police Department’s Facebook page to denounce the officers’ actions, with one commenter calling for the firing of one officer.

“He did no investigating beforehand and had only his buddy’s word that he stole something. He [cost] this man his job and reputation for a false allegation,” the commenter wrote, continuing, “If the chief doesn’t recognize this disgraceful behavior, then I would suggest it’s time for a new chief!”

Humphrey said via TikTok that he has attempted to get a lawyer to help him take legal action.

“I refuse to accept this miscarriage of justice lying down. I am committed to fighting for my rights, clearing my name and seeking restitution for the wrongful termination and the damage done to my reputation and livelihood,” he wrote on GoFundMe.

Atlanta Black Star has contacted GBRS Group for a comment.

The Virginia Beach Police Department told Atlanta Black Star in a statement, “We have opened an internal investigation into the incident to assess the actions of the responding officers and compliance with our policies and procedures. Once completed, any sustained violations will result in the appropriate disciplinary and/or corrective action.”

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