NAACP calls for police to end limited immunity in Virginia after spraying black and Latino army officers with pepper


Virginia police officers were fired for spraying black and Latino military officers with pepper and driving him to the ground during a traffic outage in December, according to Windsor town officials.

Army Lieutenant Caron Nazario has filed a lawsuit against police officers Joe Gutierrez and Daniel Crocker for more than $ 1 million, and videos from police officers’ body cameras and Nazario’s cell phones became a hot topic last week. I did.

According to the town’s website, Windsor, Virginia, with a population of 2,600, has about six police officers. After an internal investigation, Gutierrez was dismissed and additional officer training was conducted, said Windsortown manager William Sanders. statement Sunday.

“The town will also request an investigation into the case by Virginia State Police and join elected officials seeking a complete and complete review of the actions of these officers,” Sanders said. “We are in the case. In this way we are sad and change our community into a negative view. “

The Governor of Virginia, Attorney General, Parliamentarian, and NAACP were one of those who were outraged by the recent actions of Windsor police officers.

Valerie Butler, president of the Isle of Wight NAACP branch, also called for the end of limited immunity in Virginia at a press conference on Monday.

The NAACP had previously called for a special meeting of the Virginia General Assembly to pass a bill that would make it easier to sue police officers and their agencies for civil rights infringement.

“There are many things that went wrong with this traffic stop, but it shows what’s happening all over the country and how police officers leave the case without disciplinary action,” she said. It was.

The Virginia bill, proposed by Virginia General Assembly member Jeff Bourne, has died several times in the Virginia General Assembly.

“I’m not here to suggest that it’s all about correcting the mistakes of our criminal justice system,” Bourne said in a press conference. “We need to carefully consider the use of armed forces standards throughout the state, and it may be the time for state-wide standards.

In this image, created from a Windsor police video, police officers are using a spray in Caron Nazario on December 20, 2020 in Windsor, Virginia.

In this image, created from a Windsor police video, police officers are using a spray in Caron Nazario on December 20, 2020 in Windsor, Virginia.

Police reported that Nazario had a police stop because the new SUV did not have a rear license plate.

The video shows police officers ordering uniformed Nazario to get out of the gas station. I raised my hand from the window on the driver’s side.. Nazario said he was blown up with a pepper spray and pushed to the ground for fear of leaving the SUV.

Police officer accused of pepper spray Black and Latino military officers fired

Later in the tape, police say that if Nazario was silent about the case, he would let them go, but if he complained, he would be charged with additional charges. Nazario was later released on the scene and was not charged.

Governor Ralph Northam issued a statement on Sunday, stating that the incident “made me uneasy and angry.” He ordered state police to investigate.

In this image, created from a Windsor police video, Caron Nazario is assisted by EMT after an agent was sprayed by Windsor police after traffic stopped in Windsor, Virginia on December 20, 2020. .. The Army is suing two Virginia police officers at a transportation stop. Meanwhile, the policeman said he pulled the gun and pointed at him in his uniform. Caron Nazario states that a traffic outage in the town of Windsor in December violated his constitutional rights.

In this image, created from a Windsor police video, Caron Nazario is assisted by EMT after an agent was sprayed by Windsor police after traffic stopped in Windsor, Virginia on December 20, 2020. .. The Army is suing two Virginia police officers at a transportation stop. Meanwhile, the policeman said he pulled the gun and pointed at him in his uniform. Caron Nazario states that a traffic outage in the town of Windsor in December violated his constitutional rights.

Jonathan Arthur, who filed a federal proceeding in Norfolk on behalf of Nazario last week, called the dismissal of one of these officers “appropriate,” but was unable to stop the “injustice encounter” and was the second involved. He called on the officer to take further disciplinary action.

Arthur said His client welcomed Governor Ralph S. Northam has ordered Virginia State Police to conduct its own investigation into the December 5, 2020 incident in the town of Windsor, taken with a police officer’s body camera and Nazario’s own cell phone. Arthur also said Nazario was “satisfied” with the public support he received through the video that was disseminated by word of mouth.

“His story is encouraged to resonate with many who speak out,” Arthur said.

The state’s NAACP emphasized the exchange that Nazario said was “honestly afraid to get out” of his car.

“We were horrified to watch the so-called traffic outage in Windsor,” said Robert N. Burnett, Jr., chairman of the NAACP, Virginia. “The root of the problem is the fact that the police officers who are supposed to’protect and serve’ felt bold enough to state this. This is not the first officer we have seen without fear of affecting their behavior. “

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Contributions: Bill Atkinson, The Progress-Index, Elinor Aspegren, USA TODAY

This article was originally published in USA TODAY: Police Pepper Spray Soldier: Police officer fired after Virginia traffic outage

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