Caron Nazario: Virginia police officers threatened man during stop, lawsuit alleges

‘You should be’: Cops tell Black lieutenant who’s ‘afraid’ as they hold him at gunpoint, pepper-spray him

Black Army officer in uniform pepper-sprayed, held at gunpoint by Virginia traffic cops [Watch]

Per USA Today, Caron Nazario is suing Windsor Police Officers Daniel Crocker and Joe Gutierrez over claims they violated his constitutional rights during the stop, which was caught on body cam video that shows Nazario, who is Black and Latino, dressed in uniform with his hands held in the air outside the driver's side window as he told the armed officers, "I'm honestly afraid to get out".

The stop escalated to Nazario being repeatedly pepper-sprayed without apparent provocation, and in a particularly intense stretch, being visibly reluctant to reach down and unbuckle his seat belt.

In body camera and cell phone video, Army Second Lieutenant Caron Nazario, still in his uniform, can be seen with his hands visible out of the window of his new auto.

"Yeah, you should be!" one of the officers responded during the stop at a gas station.

Police say he was stopped for failing to display licence plates but temporary plates are visible in the video. Both of the officers involved have their guns drawn on him. But according to the lawsuit documents, the SUV had temporary license plate taped to the rear window, which the officers would have been able to see before they even got to Nazario's vehicle.

Arthur said Nazario explained at the time that he wasn't trying to elude the officer, but was trying to stop in a well-lighted area "for officer safety and out of respect for the officers". He was pulled over, pepper sprayed, and arrested without explanation.

"I've not committed any crime", Nazario said.

"What prompted him to file is the need to stop this conduct", Arthur said.

The officers also tried prying Nazario from his vehicle, pepper-spraying him multiple times.

Moments earlier, Mr Gutierrez was told the driver that he was "fixin' to ride the lightning"; a nickname for execution by electric chair, according to the lawsuit and a police video obtained byThe Virginian-Pilot.

He then gets out of the vehicle, is placed on the ground, and is detained.

The lawsuit states: "These cameras captured footage of behaviour consistent with a disgusting nationwide trend of law enforcement officers, who, believing they can operate with complete impunity, engage in unprofessional, discourteous, racially biased, risky and sometimes deadly abuses of authority".

"He's an officer in the United States armed forces", Jonathan Arthur said.

Both traffic police officers remain on duty and no disciplinary action has been taken.

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