WINSTON-SALEM, NC (Queen City News) — After Winston-Salem police handcuffed Hope Solo in the Walmart parking lot on March 31, 2022, we don’t know what happened next. The police body camera recordings provided to Queen City News under a court order do not include a two-hour, 21-minute block of video.
The recordings WSPD turned over ended in the parking lot as soon as Solo was handcuffed and the recording shows a military time stamp of 21:21:58 at that point. The next clip WSPD provided shows Officer Mager walking Solo out of an EMS station at 23:42:47.
WSPD did not provide an explanation of where the missing video is when contacted by QCN attorney Mike Tadych last week. “We have produced what the Judge ordered, which was clearly not all of the content of all of the videos,” Sykes wrote in an Oct. 27 email to Tadych.
In-car recordings show Mager escorting a handcuffed Solo out of the EMS station and helping her into the back of the police car where Solo threatens to file a complaint against the officer for “inappropriate touching.”
SOLO: “I don’t need you to touch me.”
MAGER: “Okay, all right, let’s go.”
SOLO: “I can walk by myself.”
MAGER: “Well, I’m going to make sure that you make it to the car.”
SOLO: “You don’t have to f—ing touch me.”
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MAGER: “All right, that’s fine.”
SOLO: “All right, that’s cool because I will have a complaint that you touched me inappropriately.”
Mager’s body camera video shows the officer holding Solo by her right upper arm as he escorts her out of the EMS station and into the back of his squad car.
SOLO: “Oh, I will get in the car if you ask me nicely.”
MAGER: “We’ve done this a game a million times…”
SOLO: “I will get in the car, you don’t need to touch me.”
MAGER: “Sit back so I can put the seat belt on.”
SOLO: “You’re loving this, aren’t you?”
MAGER: “No, I hate it.”
SOLO: “You love it, you love every moment of this.”
The in-car recordings captured Solo talking to someone on a phone in the backseat of the patrol car. Once back at the jail, Solo held her cell phone in her hand in an active call. Solo’s handcuffed and has the phone on speaker as she talked. The officer never stopped Solo from using her phone as he led her into the jailhouse door and ordered her to sit in a waiting room in the processing area.
WSPD confirmed the department does not have a policy preventing arrestees from using their cell phones while in custody.
None of the recordings show officers knew who Solo was. That changed about 15 minutes after Mager and Solo walked into the jail.
“You know who she is,” Mager asked another officer sitting at a table in the processing room. “It’s uh, (unintelligible)…she was a goalie on the U.S. National Women’s Soccer Team. Her husband was a football player for the Buccaneers,” the unidentified officer told Mager. “I hate my life right now. The last thing I want to be is famous,” Mager said laughing.
“Did your supervisor not (unintelligible) that one,” the other officer asked, “We didn’t know. The only reason I knew is – because she has a different last name. The only reason I knew is somebody down here, an officer down here recognized her,” Mager explained.
Solo continued a call in the background, criticizing officers loudly enough for the body camera to capture the audio.
Solo is eventually booked into jail. While a staffer fingerprinted Solo, Mager mentioned Solo’s children, which caused the soccer star to begin defending herself as a mother in a profanity-laced rebuttal:
SOLO: “I’m so sorry you had nothing else to do tonight. I hope I was very entertaining for you because I know I was. I know that I blessed you with my presence because that’s what I do.”
MAGER: “I hope your kids take care.”
SOLO: “My kids are amazing.”
MAGER: “I hope they’re under good care with your husband.”
SOLO: “They have the best mother and the best husband – the best father – in the world.”
SOLO: “Don’t even insinuate that I’m not an amazing mother you piece of s–t. Jesus. You don’t know what I do every f—ing god—n day, what do you do?”
BOOKING OFFICER: “Relax your hand.”
SOLO: “What the f–k do you do?”
MAGER: “Watch your hand so she can fingerprint you.”
SOLO: “Insinuate I’m a bad mother, f–k you. That’s my f–k you to you. I have not once said that, but if you want to insinuate that, I will say f–k you. I’m an amazing mother every god—n day, every god—n day. Talk s–t.”
Mager charged Solo with driving while impaired, misdemeanor child abuse, and resisting arrest. She was later freed on bond.
In June, Solo completed a 30-day alcohol rehabilitation program. In July, Solo pleaded guilty to driving while impaired and court records show prosecutors dropped the child abuse and resisting arrest charges. Solo also completed a 12-hour parenting class in Wilkes County where she lives.
The Department of Social Services case was also closed after Solo “completed assessments, recommendations, and classes as requested,” the Child Welfare Social Worker wrote in a letter to the Stevens in June.
Hope Solo would not agree to an interview with Queen City News, instead issued this statement last week:
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“I received news that some media outlets will be broadcasting/publishing the footage from the worst night of my life. Video footage from one bad choice that took place over a half a year ago. This choice by media outlets to show this is very traumatic, and heartbreaking, embarrassing and shameful for me and my family to relive through again, and again, and again. My family and I have already suffered great consequences. I have addressed my personal issues openly and honestly publicly. It’s hard enough to move forward without shame and embarrassment when making such a mistake, but my family and I remain strong and everyday we put it further behind us. I refuse to be broken.”Hope Solo
Another member of Solo’s legal team, Rich Nichols, also sent QCN a statement regarding the release of the law enforcement video recordings:
“It’s unfortunate that the worst day in the life of any of us can be broadcast for the world to see. But, Hope knew long ago that a fight to prevent the release of the police video would be futile. So, she chose to move on. Without a doubt, this was the worst day of Hope Solo’s life. During the scenes depicted in the video, she’s a mother in police custody, who had been separated and driven away from her two-year old twins, and she had no idea of their whereabouts. None of us can predict how we’d react or respond in this situation. So, judgements should be withheld. But know this, Hope took full responsibility, admitted to herself that she had issues with alcohol, admitted herself to 30-days of rehab, away from her babies, and she emerged refreshed, renewed, understanding that post-partum depression drove her to the temporary comforts of alcohol, and committed to her family to go forward as an example of the positive that can result from taking full responsibility for yourself and your life.” Rich Nichols, Counsel for Hope SoloRich Nichols, Counsel for Hope Solo
Solo also discussed her alcohol addiction and her rehab stint in a podcast she published in August 2022 after her guilty plea. The podcast is a 20-minute monologue where Solo discusses what she described as undiagnosed postpartum depression and what led up to that night in Winston-Salem.