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Norfolk, Virginia — Two Virginia police officers have been sued for allegedly drawing their guns on a uniformed Army officer during a traffic stop and spraying him with a substance. U.S. Army Lt. Caron Nazario was driving Dec. 5, 2020, in his newly purchased Chevrolet Tahoe when two Windsor police officers, Joe Gutierrez and Daniel Crocker pulled over Nazario, while he was dressed in uniform, according to the lawsuit filed April 2. The officers’ body camera footage shows both exiting their patrol cars with guns drawn, while 2nd Lt. Caron Nazario had his hands held in the air outside the driver’s side window as he told the armed officers, “I’m honestly afraid to get out.” One of the officers told Nazario, “Yeah, you should be!”.
The officer then pepper-sprayed Nazario, exercised knee-strikes to his legs and placed him handcuffs. The stop happened on a night in December after one of the two officers said Nazario’s SUV had tinted windows and didn’t have a rear license plate. Officer Joe Gutierrez has been “terminated from his employment” following an internal probe into the arrest of Caron Nazario. The dismissal of Gutierrez was first revealed in a press release from the Town of Windsor. In the statement, officials said Gutierrez was fired after it was deemed he’d failed to follow department policy. The other officer, Daniel Crocker, is still employed by the police department. Now, Nazario is asking for at least $1 million in damages and for the court to rule that the two officers violated his rights, including rights under the Fourth Amendment.
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