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US Army officer 2nd Lt. Caron Nazario, who is Black and Latino, is suing two Virginia police officers after they pointed guns at him, pepper sprayed him and pushed him to the ground during a traffic stop in December 2020 for what the officers believed was a missing license plate on his new SUV.

Nazario, who is Black and Latino, informs the officers that he is a U.S. serviceman while pleading for an explanation as to why he is being stopped.  

“I’m honestly afraid to get out,” Nazario said, hands still out.  

“Yeah, you should be,” one of the officers replied back. 

According to the police report, he was stopped for failing to display licence plates but temporary plates are visible in the video.

During the incident, the soldier, who was handcuffed while his car was searched, asked why force was being used against him and was told by a police officer: “Because you’re not co-operating.” He was later released without charge.

The suit, filed at the US District Court of Norfolk, Virginia, against the two Windsor Police Department officers, Joe Gutierrez and Daniel Crocker, alleges violations to his constitutional rights, and includes assault, illegal search and illegal detention.

There was no immediate response from the Windsor Police Department.

The lawsuit comes at a time of increased scrutiny over alleged police brutality towards minorities and racial justice.



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