A U.S. Army lieutenant has filed a lawsuit against two Windsor, Virginia police officers over a December traffic stop gone awry that later became a viral video.
A seemingly calm but confused Caron Nazario is seen in the video refusing to exit his vehicle after being told to do so by the two officers. He is then pepper-sprayed, put on the ground, and handcuffed, all while still in his Army uniform. (RELATED: Teenager Tries To Carjack An Elderly Man At Gunpoint, Gets Hit With A Major Surprise)
Incidents like this are unacceptable. As our office continues to monitor the situation, the Windsor Police Department needs to be fully transparent about what happened during the stop and what was done in response to it.pic.twitter.com/YXVEGUWMeh
— Mark Herring (@MarkHerringVA) April 10, 2021
In the video the two police officers, guns drawn, yell at Nazario to open the door slowly and exit the vehicle. Nazario holds his arms out the driver side window while the officers shout instructions. Nazario shouts inaudibly in response to the officers before they move closer to his vehicle.
As the officers approached, still yelling at him to exit the vehicle and keep his hand outside the window, Nazario asks them what was going on. The officers again yell at him to exit, but Nazario, seemingly refusing to comply, said, “I serve this country and this is how I’m treated?”
“Well guess what, I’m a veteran too, and I don’t not obey,” one of the officers said in response, before continuing to give commands for Nazario to exit.
Nazario continued to ask what was going on, before the same officer responded, “What’s going on is your fixing to ride the lightning, son.”
The officers then moved up to Nazario’s door, still yelling. Nazario, with hands still outside the window said he was afraid to get out of the car. “You should be,” one of the officers responded. Eventually, the officers attempted to remove Nazario by force, before pepper-spraying him after he prevented them from opening the door and pulling him out.
Nazario eventually agreed to exit the vehicle after experiencing the effects of the pepper spray. The officers then wrestled him to the ground and placed handcuffs on him.
Jonathan Arthur, Nazario’s attorney, filed the lawsuit in federal court because he claimed Nazario’s constitutional rights were violated.
The lawsuit argues the officers didn’t have probable cause to charge Nazario with any crimes and that the stop, which the officers claimed was for a traffic violation, was illegal. It also claims that officers threatened to ruin his military career by telling him that if he “would chill and let this go,” that they would release him and prevent him from having to go to court and notify his commanding Army officers, according to The Virginian-Pilot.
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