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One less overzealous officer on the streets to worry about.
One of two Virginia police officers seen on bodycam footage pepper-spraying and pointing their firearms at a Black Army medic during a traffic stop has been fired. The decision to give the officer the boot was announced on late Sunday (Apr.11) after Governor Ralph Northam called the incident “disturbing” in a tweet on Sunday and called for an independent investigation into the case.
My statement on the encounter between Lieutenant Caron Nazario and two officers from the Windsor Police Department: pic.twitter.com/GcfL5YeIRm
— Ralph Northam (@GovernorVA) April 11, 2021
In a statement, the town of Windsor said it joined the calls from election officials, including the governor, for an independent investigation by the Virginia State Police in the incident that happened back in December 2020. U.S. Army second lieutenant Caron Nazario is now suing both officers. He says the officers pepper-sprayed him in his suit, knocked him to the ground, and used a slang term to claim he was facing execution.
Despite both officers being caught in 8K ultra HD, they are disputing Nazario’s claims. One of the officers wrote in a report that Nazario was “eluding police,” and he considered it a “high-risk traffic stop. Nazario’s attorney Jonathan Arthur told the Associated Press that Nazario was just trying to find a “well-lit area” to stop at.
In a Sunday statement, Windsor officials said that an internal investigation into the officers’ use of excessive force determined that department policy was not followed. The department took disciplinary action, and officer Gutierrez was subsequently fired.
While Gutierrez’s firing is the right move, the situation still points to one glaring issue. It only happened because the video went viral.
Photo: Bodycam Footage / Windsor, Virginia Police Bodycam