A Police Officer Was Fired For Pepper-Spraying A Black Army Lieutenant At A Traffic Stop

A Police Officer Was Fired For Pepper-Spraying A Black Army Lieutenant At A Traffic Stop

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Virginia police officers held a black army at gunpoint, handcuffed him, and even wet him with pepper spray during a traffic stop. In both a body camera and cell phone clip that has since gone viral over the weekend, Caron Nazario, a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Medical Corps (Black and Latino), is seen with his hands out of the window of his car. “I’ve not committed any crime,” Nazario said. 

Police officers Joe Gutierrez and Daniel Crocker held Caron Nazario, a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, at gunpoint, handcuffed him, and even wet him with pepper spray.

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Two police cops identified as Joe Gutierrez and Daniel Crocker ordered him to get out of the vehicle, drawing out their guns. “I’m honestly afraid to get out.” He responded. “Yeah, dude, you should be.” One of the officers said. In the clip, Nazario repeatedly asked why he was pulled over, and eventually, one of the officers pepper-sprayed and kicked him. 

In both a body camera and cell phone clip that has since gone viral, Nazario repeatedly asked why he was pulled over but got pepper-sprayed and kicked.

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Nazario expressed concern for his dog, who he claims was choking on pepper spray in the back seat. He was later on handcuffed on the ground while the cops searched his car. “Why am I being treated like this? Why? This is messed up.” Nazario asked. “Because you aren’t cooperating.” Crocker answered while Gutierrez said: “You’re fixin to ride the lighting, son.”

“Why am I being treated like this? Why? This is messed up.” Nazario asked. 

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Thankfully, Virginia officials have fired Officer Gutierrez following the December 5th, 2020 incident. In a statement released on Sunday, William Saunders, town Manager of Windsor, a small community west of Norfolk, acknowledged the “unfortunate events that transpired” but didn’t provide information on the other officer involved, revealing the department is requiring additional training. 

Thankfully, Virginia officials have fired Officer Gutierrez following the December 5th, 2020, incident.

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An internal investigation found police procedures hadn’t been followed appropriately. Saunders added, “Due to this, we are saddened for events like this to cast our community in a negative light. Rather than deflect criticism, we have addressed these matters with our personnel administratively.”

The incident emerged hours after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam ordered state police to open an independent investigation into the traffic stop.

The incident emerged hours after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam ordered state police to unveil an independent investigation into the traffic stop. In a release shared on Twitter, Governor Ralph said: “The incident is disturbing and angered me. Our commonwealth has done important work on police reform. But we must keep working to ensure that Virginians are safe during interactions with police, the enforcement of laws is fair and equitable, and people are held accountable.”

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has also reacted, dubbing the incident “Unacceptable.”

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring has also reacted, dubbing the incident “Unacceptable.” Herring wrote on Twitter: “As our office continues to monitor the situation, the Windsor police department needs to be fully transparent about what happened during the stop and what was done in response to it.” However, in early April, Nazario sued Guitierrez and Crocker in federal court for, among other things, including excessive force, illegal search, and unreasonable seizure. 

The army medic is also seeking $1million in compensation for his treatment, which he described as “consistent with a disgusting nationwide trend of law enforcement officers, who believing they can operate with complete impunity, engage in unprofessional, discourteous, racially-biased, dangerous, and sometimes deadly abuses of authority.”