Added: Obie Baskerville - Date: 01.02.2022 11:16 - Views: 46266 - Clicks: 2039
Two Virginia police officers have been sued for allegedly drawing their guns on a uniformed Army officer during a traffic stop and spraying him with a substance. One of them has since been terminated. On Dec. Army 2nd Lt. Caron Nazario, who is Black and Latino, while he was dressed in uniform, according to the lawsuit filed April 2.
They pulled him over in a newly purchased Chevrolet Tahoe SUV for not having a rear plate, according to the lawsuit. Nazario was returning home from his duty station at the time, the lawsuit said. The suit, filed in the U. District Court for Eastern Virginia in Norfolk, claims the officers violated Nazario's constitutional rights and seeks compensatory and punitive damages. Police body camera footage shows the moment officers pursued Nazario, who then pulled over at a well-lit gas station. According to the report Officer Crocker submitted after the incident, Crocker said the driver was "eluding police" and he considered it to be a high-risk traffic stop.
Nazario wasn't eluding police, he was trying to stop in a well-lit area for his safety and for the officers' safety, according to the lawsuit. Gutierrez acknowledged that Nazario's decision to drive to a lighted area occurs "a lot The vehicle was so new Nazario hadn't yet gotten permanent plates, but had his cardboard temporary plates taped inside the rear window of the vehicle.
When officers reached inside his car, that plate was visible in the rear, the lawsuit stated. In the video footage, officers shout at Nazario to put his arms out of the window and approach him with their guns drawn. The officers then threaten to arrest him for not listening to their orders to get out of the car and for "obstruction of justice," the video shows. Seconds later, an Military officer seeks appears to spray him in his face with a substance in the video.
Nazario kept his hands up in the air as the officers yelled at him to get out and he shut his eyes, visibly reeling from the spray.
My hands are out, can you please -- look, this is really messed up," Nazario says. The officers are heard shouting conflicting orders at him, telling him to put his hands out of the window while telling him to open the door and get out. At one point, Gutierrez told Nazario he was "fixin' to ride the lightning," according to the lawsuit. The phrase was a line from the movie "The Green Mile," a film about a Black man facing execution, and references the electric chair, the lawsuit states.
When he finally got out of the car the video shows the officers repeatedly telling Nazario to get on the ground and then force him down, according to the lawsuit. The officers struck Nazaro with their fists, knees and hands, forcing him onto his face and placed him in handcuffs, according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit claims the officers used this force despite not having any probable cause to believe Military officer seeks had committed a crime. Nazario was not charged in the incident. Gutierrez wrote in his report that he felt he had to choose between charging Nazario with obstruction or releasing him without any charges. Meaning that whatever happened in civil court, the military could still take action against him. Being a military veteran, I did not want to see his career ruined over one erroneous decision. Crocker said in his report he chose against filing charges because Nazario was active duty military and didn't want to see his career ruined for "poor judgement.
Crocker still works for the department, according to The Virginian-Pilot. Officer Gutierrez has since Military officer seeks terminated, according to a statement released Sunday evening by the town of Windsor. On Sunday, Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam issued a statement calling the incident "disturbing" and saying that it angered him.
He directed the state police to conduct an independent investigation. The Virginia State Police have opened a criminal investigation into the incident, they confirmed on Twitter Sunday.
In a statement released earlier Sunday, the governor and town of Windsor requested an investigation. LOG IN. We'll notify you here with news about. Turn on desktop notifications for breaking stories about interest? Comments 0.
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