Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam introduced on Sunday that he has ordered the Virginia State Police to conduct an impartial investigation right into a December traffic stop that noticed two police officers pepper-spraying a military officer.
“The incident in Windsor is disturbing and angered me—and I am directing the Virginia State Police to conduct an independent investigation,” Northam wrote in a statement.
“Our Commonwealth has done important work on police reform, but we must keep working to ensure that Virginians are safe during interactions with police, the enforcement of laws is fair and equitable, and people are held accountable.”
Northam added that he has invited the military officer Lt. Caron Nazario to satisfy with him.
The encounter, which occurred on Dec. 5, 2020, first drew consideration after Nazario sued the two officers alleging that that they had violated his constitutional rights.
Body digital camera footage from that day obtained by The Associated Press exhibits Nazario, who’s Black and Latino, wearing his uniform holding his palms up as two officers with their weapons drawn demanded he get out of his automobile.
Nazario didn’t instantly comply, telling the officers that he was “honestly afraid to get out.” One of the officers might be heard saying, “Yeah, you should be! Get out! Get out!”
At one level, officer Joe Gutierrez was seen spraying Nazario, who was nonetheless sitting in his automobile along with his palms up, with pepper spray a number of instances at shut vary, earlier than ordering Nazario once more to “get out of the car.” Nazario finally complied.
Nazario might be heard asking the law enforcement officials to inform clarify “what was going on,” as the 2 officers tried to power the military officer to the bottom.
Gutierrez additionally instructed Nazario through the incident that he was “fixin’ to ride the lightning,” a reference to the electrical chair which was additionally a line from the film “The Green Mile,” the information wire reported, citing the lawsuit. The movie was a couple of Black man dealing with execution.
The police division accountable for the 2 officers mentioned Sunday that they had fired Gutierrez. The division mentioned it had performed an inside investigation to find out the appropriateness of the actions and located that the officers had not adopted police division coverage.
“This resulted in disciplinary action, and department-wide requirements for additional training were implemented beginning in January and continue up to the present. Since that time, Officer Gutierrez was also terminated from his employment,” the assertion mentioned.
The Town of Windsor has additionally requested the Virginia State Police to conduct an impartial investigation.
The Associated Press reported that through the incident, officer Daniel Crocker who initially encountered Nazario radioed that he was trying to cease a automobile with no rear license plate and tinted home windows. He mentioned that he believed the driving force was a “high-risk traffic stop” as a result of he was “eluding police.”
Nazario’s legal professional Jonathan Arthur instructed the information wire that Nazario was not making an attempt to elude the officer however was looking for a well-lit space “for officer safety and out of respect for the officers.”
Gutierrez, who was driving by, heard Crocker’s name and determined to hitch the site visitors cease.
From The Epoch Times