The Virginia Attorney General, at least one congressman, and the local NAACP express outrage at the actions of Windsor police officers who pointed guns, pepper sprayed and threatened a black and Latino military officer during a police arrest. circulation in december filmed.
Army Lt. Caron Nazario filed a lawsuit against the officers last month, and video from officers’ corps cameras and Nazario’s cell phone has gone viral in recent days.
Officers said in the police report that they had stopped Nazario’s Chevrolet Tahoe because it did not have a rear license plate, although the police report acknowledged that officers later noticed a license plate. temporary displayed in the rear window.
The video shows officers ordering Nazario out of his vehicle outside a local gas station as he raises his hands through the driver’s side window. Nazario says he is afraid to get out of the SUV and is then pepper sprayed, removed from the vehicle and forced to the ground. Nazario was then released at the scene and has not been charged.
“These cameras captured footage of behavior consistent with a nation-wide repugnant trend of law enforcement officers, who, believing they can act with impunity, engage in unprofessional abuse of authority,” discourteous, racist, dangerous and sometimes deadly, “says the trial. .
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The lawsuit says officers later threatened to destroy the lieutenant’s military career “with a slew of unsubstantiated criminal charges” if he denounced them for misconduct.
Nazario demands $ 1 million from officers Joe Gutierrez and Daniel Crocker, claiming they violated his constitutional rights.
“Incidents like this are unacceptable,” Attorney General Mark Herring said in a statement. “As our office continues to monitor the situation, the Windsor Police Service must be fully transparent about what happened during the arrest and what was done in response.”
Windsor has a population of around 2,600 and, according to its website, a six-member police force. Police were unavailable for comment on Sunday, and the mayor and city council members did not respond to a USA TODAY request for comment.
Representative Bobby Scott, a Democrat whose district includes Windsor, said he was “horrified” by the video. Scott noted that the video’s release comes as the area still mourns the death of Donovan Lynch, who was killed by police officers in Virginia Beach last month when their body cameras were not activated.
The local NAACP said it was opening an investigation into the Windsor Police Department.
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The video is proof “of what the NAACP has always said,” the Isle of Wight NAACP said in a statement. “It emerges from the video that our justice is still mistreated by the police and we are very worried.”
The group said it had the support of the NAACP state and other officials.
“Please know that this will not go unanswered,” the group said. “We are done dying. We will not remain silent while the civil rights of another African American are violated.”