Lawsuit: Virginia police officers threatened man during stop

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  thomas  •  one month ago  •  75 comments

By:   TOM FOREMAN (AP NEWS)

Lawsuit: Virginia police officers threatened man during stop
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — A second lieutenant in the U.S. Army is suing two Virginia police officers over a traffic stop last December during which the officers drew their guns, pointed them at...

Again and again it happens. Is this abuse of police power? 


S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



By TOM FOREMAN Jr.April 9, 2021 GMT

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — A second lieutenant in the U.S. Army is suing two Virginia police officers over a traffic stop last December during which the officers drew their guns, pointed them at him and used a slang term to suggest he was facing execution before pepper-spraying him and knocking him to the ground.

Body camera footage shows Caron Nazario, who is Black and Latino, was dressed in uniform with 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."

"Yeah, you should be!" one of the officers responded during the stop at a gas station.

In a lawsuit filed earlier this month, Nazario says his constitutional rights were violated during the traffic stop in the town of Windsor. The two sides in the case dispute what happened after a second police officer joined the first one in the stop. At the time, Nazario was coming from his duty station and going home, attorney Jonathan Arthur told The Associated Press on Friday.

"Graduated from Virginia State University. He was commissioned out of their ROTC program. He's an officer in the United States armed forces," Arthur said. "These guys decide to do this to him."

Asked about Nazario's condition after the incident, Arthur said, "He's definitely not doing too well."

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Windsor Police Officer Daniel Crocker radioed he was attempting to stop a vehicle with no rear license plate and tinted windows. He said the driver was "eluding police" and he considered it a "high-risk traffic stop," according to a report he submitted afterward and which was included in the court filing.

Arthur said Nazario explained at the time that he wasn't trying to elude the officer, but was trying to stop in a well-lit area "for officer safety and out of respect for the officers."

Another officer, Joe Gutierrez, was driving by when he heard Crocker's call, saw him attempting to stop the SUV and decided to join the traffic stop. Gutierrez acknowledged that Nazario's decision to drive to a lighted area happens to him "a lot, and 80% of the time, it's a minority," Arthur said, quoting the officer.

The lawsuit says by the time the two officers reached Nazario's SUV, the license plate was visible in the rear.

Nazario drove his SUV to a well-lit gas station where, according to the lawsuit, the two officers got out and immediately drew their guns and pointed them at Nazario after they got out of their cars. The officers then attempted to pull Nazario out of the vehicle while he continued to keep his hands in the air. Gutierrez then stepped back and pepper-sprayed Nazario multiple times as officers yelled for him to get out of the car.

"I don't even want to reach for my seatbelt, can you please? ... My hands are out, can you please — look, this is really messed up," Nazario stammered upon being pepper-sprayed, his eyes clenched shut.

The officers shouted conflicting orders at Nazario, telling him to put his hands out the window while also telling him to open the door and get out, the lawsuit says. At one point, Gutierrez told Nazario he was "fixin' to ride the lightning," a reference to the electric chair which was also a line from the movie "The Green Mile," a film about a Black man facing execution.

Nazario got out of the vehicle and again asked for a supervisor. Gutierrez responded with "knee-strikes" to his legs, knocking him to the ground, the lawsuit says. The two officers struck him multiple times, then handcuffed and interrogated him.

The traffic stop was captured on Nazario's cellphone video, and the body-worn cameras worn by Crocker and Gutierrez, according to the lawsuit.

"These cameras captured footage of behavior consistent with a disgusting nationwide trend of law enforcement officers, who, believing they can operate with complete impunity, engage in unprofessional, discourteous, racially biased, dangerous and sometimes deadly abuses of authority ..." the lawsuit says.

The AP reached out to Windsor police for comment, but an email was not returned and their voice mailbox was full. No one answered the phone at a number listed for Crocker on Friday.

Crocker and Gutierrez still work for the department, the town manager told The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk. Windsor is about 70 miles (112 kilometers) southeast of Richmond.

All contents © copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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Thomas
Freshman Guide
1  seeder  Thomas    one month ago

A short body cam recording is available at the seeded article.

What do you think? Is this an abuse of power? Did the officers act according to regulations? 

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
Senior Participates
1.1  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Thomas @1    one month ago

yes, it IS abuse of power! Smart move to wait till well lit area imho

 
 
 
Thomas
Freshman Guide
1.1.1  seeder  Thomas  replied to  igknorantzrulz @1.1    one month ago

I think that it is, in the fact that Lt. Nazario has both his hands in plain view and then he gets pepper sprayed while both of his hands are visible. By that point, with two officers on the scene it is my opinion that they could have de-escalated a bit. I feel that the pepper spray was over the top, especially since the Lt. was verbally indicating that he wished to comply. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
2  sandy-2021492    one month ago

What did they charge him with?  I mean, they said no visible license plate, then said the plate was visible.  So he had plates.  What were the charges?

 
 
 
Thomas
Freshman Guide
2.1  seeder  Thomas  replied to  sandy-2021492 @2    one month ago

I am not sure that they found anything to charge him with. I can't quite make out what the officer says he is being "...underarrest, you're being detained..." for. Maybe someone else can decipher that.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
2.1.1  sandy-2021492  replied to  Thomas @2.1    one month ago

Here's more information from a newspaper local to the incident:

“Realizing that they had acted illegally,” the lawsuit says, the officers told Nazario that if he “would chill and let this go,” they would release him without filing any charges. But if he fought it, which Gutierrez acknowledged he had the right to do, Nazario would be charged and would have “to go to court and notify his command.”

Afterwards, the two officers filed reports with “near identical” misstatements, the lawsuit says.

They reported that Nazario refused to show his hands and slapped theirs away when they tried to get him out. Gutierrez wrote that he gave knee strikes to Nazario’s legs because he wouldn’t get on the ground and resisted arrest.

Medics were called and treated Nazario at the scene. The police chief also came and was briefed as to what happened, the report said.

Gutierrez wrote in his report that he felt he had two options: charge Nazario with obstruction, eluding, and assaulting an officer, or release him without any charges. “I made the decision to release him without any charges,” his report said. “The reason for this decision is simple; the military is the only place where double jeopardy applies. Meaning that whatever happened in civil court, the military could still take action against him. Being a military veteran, I did not want to see his career ruined over one erroneous decision.”

So, they felt justified in hitting him with pepper spray, but didn't charge him with anything.  Seems reasonable.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
2.1.2  sandy-2021492  replied to  sandy-2021492 @2.1.1    one month ago

The article also states that the officers report that Nazario, whom they accused of eluding police, was driving slowly as he looked for a place to pull over.  He had temp tags in his rear window, because the SUV was new.

The Pilot posted a different video, with officers telling him both to get out of the car, and to keep his hands outside of the window.  My car's doors lock automatically, as do many newer cars'.  I literally can't open the door while keeping my hands in view.  How can they be angry when he can't follow contradictory instructions?

 
 
 
Thomas
Freshman Guide
2.1.3  seeder  Thomas  replied to  sandy-2021492 @2.1.1    one month ago
So, they felt justified in hitting him with pepper spray, but didn't charge him with anything.  Seems reasonable.

I think that this statement belongs on Perrie's article about the death of sarcasm..... 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
2.1.4  sandy-2021492  replied to  Thomas @2.1.3    one month ago

Sarcasm is my primary language.

 
 
 
Thomas
Freshman Guide
2.1.5  seeder  Thomas  replied to  sandy-2021492 @2.1.2    one month ago

Thank you  very much for the links and the research.

 
 
 
devangelical
PhD Principal
2.1.6  devangelical  replied to  sandy-2021492 @2.1.4    one month ago
Sarcasm is my primary language.

...the common language of 3 digit IQ's. that's why I admire (cut) you so much (slack) and respect all,.. er, ..most of your decisions regarding me.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
2.1.7  sandy-2021492  replied to  devangelical @2.1.6    one month ago
respect all,.. er, ..most of your decisions regarding me.

jrSmiley_9_smiley_image.gif

 
 
 
devangelical
PhD Principal
2.1.8  devangelical  replied to  sandy-2021492 @2.1.7    one month ago

sorry, it's a personality flaw. sometimes really stupid people need to be reminded just  how really stupid they are. I have to edit a lot of replies.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
Professor Expert
2.1.9  FLYNAVY1  replied to  devangelical @2.1.8    one month ago

sometimes really stupid people need to be reminded just  how really stupid they are.

I've tried dozens of time..... Mostly they're not smart enough to understand that they're stupid.

 
 
 
321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu
Sophomore Principal
2.1.10  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu   replied to  FLYNAVY1 @2.1.9    one month ago
Mostly they're not smart enough to understand that they're stupid.

That's when being smart enough to know the difference counts. If they really are that dumb they really are a lost cause and I soon move on. I have better things to do that to try to carry on conversations with idiots. 

Including family, friends and/or coworkers. Lifes short. jrSmiley_18_smiley_image.gif  

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
Professor Expert
2.1.11  FLYNAVY1  replied to  321steve - realistically thinkin or Duu @2.1.10    one month ago

On the good side, it has really cut down on the time and expense of the number of Christmas cards we send out....

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
3  Kavika     one month ago

The problem is that the LT was driving while being a minority. 

 
 
 
devangelical
PhD Principal
3.1  devangelical  replied to  Kavika @3    one month ago

bingo. guilty of DWB, driving while black.

Fact - 60+% of southern LE = KKK

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
3.1.1  Tessylo  replied to  devangelical @3.1    one month ago

"bingo. guilty of DWB, driving while black.

Fact - 60+% of southern LE = KKK"

I bet you can't swing a dead cat without hitting one of them good ole' boys huh?

I know that's a big problem just about everywhere else also.  A lot of 'good ole' boys' join the force so that they can practice their discrimination freely

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.1.2  Texan1211  replied to  devangelical @3.1    one month ago

prove that ridiculous claim.

Ah, never mind, I know it is fiction!

 
 
 
devangelical
PhD Principal
3.1.3  devangelical  replied to  Texan1211 @3.1.2    one month ago

we can play by your rules here. prove it's a ridiculous claim.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
3.1.4  Texan1211  replied to  devangelical @3.1.3    one month ago

I the adult world. the person making the claim should be able to prove it.

since you can't, it must be fantasy!

 
 
 
Ender
PhD Principal
6  Ender    one month ago

According to carson and guest racism is in the past with 98% of people not racist...

Someone should buy him a clue.

 
 
 
Ender
PhD Principal
7  Ender    one month ago

After watching the video, I have to ask...

How is the fat fuck an officer. I bet he couldn't even run half a block.

 
 
 
Thomas
Freshman Guide
7.1  seeder  Thomas  replied to  Ender @7    one month ago

Well, that utility vest cannot make him look thinner.... I guess you don't need to run if you drive a car?

 
 
 
Ender
PhD Principal
7.1.1  Ender  replied to  Thomas @7.1    one month ago

The fastest he has probably moved in a decade is to the next donut.

Of course he doesn't have to do anything except walk up to a car and pepper spray them.

 
 
 
Ender
PhD Principal
8  Ender    one month ago

I have to say, such disrespect to obvious armed forces personnel.

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
Professor Expert
8.1  FLYNAVY1  replied to  Ender @8    one month ago
I have to say, such disrespect to obvious armed forces personnel.
Since when has serving our country lessened the disrespect towards people of color by WASPs?

 
 
 
charger 383
PhD Quiet
9  charger 383    one month ago

Just a warning In Virginia, tinted glass attracts flashing blue lights

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
9.1  Tessylo  replied to  charger 383 @9    one month ago

So what, you're blaming the victim?

 
 
 
charger 383
PhD Quiet
9.1.1  charger 383  replied to  Tessylo @9.1    one month ago

NO! just warning drivers of the local conditions.  

 
 
 
Tessylo
Professor Principal
9.1.2  Tessylo  replied to  charger 383 @9.1.1    one month ago

Yeah, I'm sure all the drivers in whatever 'location'/area of Virginia that is, saw your 'warning'

 
 
 
devangelical
PhD Principal
9.2  devangelical  replied to  charger 383 @9    one month ago

I think it's a little more than just the tinted glass. flashing lights in the south for me means the safety is off. goober LE is in my top 3 reasons to carry.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
9.2.1  Texan1211  replied to  devangelical @9.2    one month ago

[deleted]

 
 
 
devangelical
PhD Principal
9.2.2  devangelical  replied to  Texan1211 @9.2.1    one month ago

show me where I said I did.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
9.2.3  Texan1211  replied to  devangelical @9.2.2    one month ago

oh. so it was all bluster and fantasy?

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
Senior Participates
9.2.4  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Texan1211 @9.2.3    one month ago
all bluster and fantasy?

like say, Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day....?

 
 
 
devangelical
PhD Principal
9.2.5  devangelical  replied to  Texan1211 @9.2.3    one month ago

show me where I said I did. too many steps?

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
9.2.6  Texan1211  replied to  igknorantzrulz @9.2.4    one month ago

nope, more like fantasy like the claim that 60 % of LEOs in the South = KKK.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
9.2.7  Texan1211  replied to  devangelical @9.2.5    one month ago

I clearly never said you said you did.

so since now you haven't, it was all fantasy and internet tough guy talk.

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
Senior Participates
9.2.8  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Texan1211 @9.2.6    one month ago
nope, more like fantasy

so do you believe devangelical fantasizes about shooting LEO's...because none are possibly KKK ?  

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
9.2.9  Texan1211  replied to  igknorantzrulz @9.2.8    one month ago

ask him. its his fantasy.

personally, I think he talks a mean game safely hidden behind his keyboard.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
9.2.10  Texan1211  replied to  igknorantzrulz @9.2.8    one month ago

BTW, I didnt dispute that there a racist cops who may be KKK members.

I question the dubious and unsubstantiated claim of 60% being KKK.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
9.2.11  sandy-2021492  replied to  Texan1211 @9.2.9    one month ago
its his fantasy.

What is?

 
 
 
Ender
PhD Principal
9.2.12  Ender  replied to  Texan1211 @9.2.10    one month ago

I don't know the percentage but there was an FBI report about how racist hate groups decided to infiltrate law enforcement.

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
Senior Participates
9.2.13  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Texan1211 @9.2.10    one month ago
I question the dubious and unsubstantiated claim of 60% being KKK.

not aware of where this % came from, but i don't doubt that it is actually too far off, as we seem to have ample example after ample example for how long now...?

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
9.2.14  Texan1211  replied to  igknorantzrulz @9.2.13    one month ago

please cite some of these examples of cops being KKK.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
9.2.15  Texan1211  replied to  sandy-2021492 @9.2.11    one month ago

that 60% of southern Leo's are KKK.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
9.2.16  Texan1211  replied to  igknorantzrulz @9.2.13    one month ago

the % was quoted from his earlier post.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
9.2.17  sandy-2021492  replied to  Texan1211 @9.2.15    one month ago
oh. so it was all bluster and fantasy?

Is that what you were referring to when you said this? 

If so, it seems you have either become confused about the thread on which you are commenting, or have introduced a strawman and are trying to deflect, because you see that everybody is aware of said strawman.

Which is it?

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
9.2.18  Texan1211  replied to  sandy-2021492 @9.2.17    one month ago

the bluster comment was in reference to his post about why he personally carries in post 9.2.

I am not in the lest confused by his post. I am confused why you seem to be having difficulty.

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
Senior Participates
9.2.19  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Texan1211 @9.2.14    one month ago

recent investigation  by the Center for Investigative Reporting found that hundreds of active-duty and retired law enforcement officers from around the country were members of confederate, anti-government and anti-Islam groups on Facebook. But there is no official record of officers who are tied to white supremacist or other extremist groups because, in the US, there is no federal policy for screening or monitoring the country’s 800,000+ law enforcement officers for extremist views. The 18,000 or so police departments across the country are largely left to police themselves.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
9.2.20  Texan1211  replied to  igknorantzrulz @9.2.19    one month ago

ok.

first, anti-government doesn't mean KKK., nor does anti-Islam equate to KKK.

hundreds doesn't sound like 60% to me. but perhaps you have some real proof?

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
9.2.21  sandy-2021492  replied to  Texan1211 @9.2.18    one month ago
I am not in the lest confused by his post.

Ah, so it's the straw man plus deflection option.  I think we all knew that.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
9.2.22  Texan1211  replied to  sandy-2021492 @9.2.21    one month ago

I really don't care what yall think you know.

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
Senior Participates
9.2.23  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Texan1211 @9.2.20    one month ago
but perhaps you have some real proof?

perhaps YOU have some real proof of an actual percent ! I stated i don't believe that his number was all that far off. That is my belief, after my own experiences, interactions, readings, etc. We've all witnessed and commented on quite a few of these Law Officers proving, at least to me, that many are NOT FIT to wear the uniform. January 6th 2021 is another prime example, and we won't know how many of they are actually KKK, but definitely some were, and if you think that only the ones on the surface we've heard of are involved, please...you must realize it is far deeper than this.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
9.2.24  Texan1211  replied to  igknorantzrulz @9.2.23    one month ago

I never disputed that SOME may be KKK 

Again, I dispute the 60%, and thus far he, you. and Sandy have been able to support his claim.

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
Senior Participates
9.2.25  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Texan1211 @9.2.24    one month ago
thus far he, you. and Sandy have been able to support his claim.

well thanx then, done.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
9.2.26  sandy-2021492  replied to  Texan1211 @9.2.24    one month ago

I've made no attempt to support the claim to which you deflected to call attention away from your strawman.  To expect me to provide evidence for a claim I've neither made nor agreed with is a bit silly.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
9.2.27  Texan1211  replied to  igknorantzrulz @9.2.25    one month ago

done with what??

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
9.2.28  Texan1211  replied to  sandy-2021492 @9.2.26    one month ago

and calling it a strawman is rather silly, too.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
9.2.29  sandy-2021492  replied to  Texan1211 @9.2.28    one month ago

I called it what it was. YOU brought up pulling a gun on an officer, and attributed it to dev as HIS fantasy.  That's a strawman. When called on it, you deflected.

You're shuffling, trying to avoid owning your words.

That's dishonest.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
9.2.30  Texan1211  replied to  sandy-2021492 @9.2.29    one month ago

bull.

look at post 9.2.

if you can't see my responses. so be it, but saying I am being dishonest is crap.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
9.2.31  sandy-2021492  replied to  Texan1211 @9.2.30    one month ago

Is carrying a gun the same as pulling one on law enforcement?

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
9.2.32  Texan1211  replied to  sandy-2021492 @9.2.31    one month ago

Jesus, Sandy, he explicitly said Leo's were one if the reasons he carried. what ELSE could he have meant?

I never said he pulled a gun on an leo, in fact I stated I doubted he had ever done so, despite it being one of the reasons he carries.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
9.2.33  sandy-2021492  replied to  Texan1211 @9.2.32    one month ago

You had every reason to doubt he'd pull on a cop, since he never said he had.  Obviously.  You read what you wanted to read.

I wonder if you have the same sentiments regarding those who say they need an arsenal to protect themselves from a tyrannical government?  Police officers are government agents, after all.  Do the folks who need protection from Uncle Sam also necessarily fantasize about pulling their weapons, in your opinion?  If we follow your questionable logic to its conclusion, they must.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
9.2.34  Texan1211  replied to  sandy-2021492 @9.2.33    one month ago

since he gave it as reason to carry, I have every right to assume he would pull it on Leo's.

in fact, though, I was willing to bet it was the usual keyboard warrior speaking and he had never done so.

people who stockpile weapons they think will be used against the government. are just as crazy as those who say they carry because of law enforcement.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
9.2.35  sandy-2021492  replied to  Texan1211 @9.2.34    one month ago

You know what they say about assumptions.

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
9.2.36  Texan1211  replied to  sandy-2021492 @9.2.35    one month ago

whatever,have a good day.

 
 
 
Thomas
Freshman Guide
9.2.37  seeder  Thomas  replied to  Texan1211 @9.2.1    one month ago

Devangelical said:

flashing lights in the south for me means the safety is off. goober LE is in my top 3 reasons to carry.

You said:

and I just bet you have never pulled a gun on an officer during a traffic stop.

Devangelical never said he pulled a gun on an officer during a traffic stop. Your comment is neither on topic for the seed or the thread (by my definition) so I have flagged it for review by a moderator whose decision on this will stand. 

 
 
 
Texan1211
Professor Principal
9.2.38  Texan1211  replied to  Thomas @9.2.37    one month ago
Devangelical never said he pulled a gun on an officer during a traffic stop.

I never claimed he did.

Your comment is neither on topic for the seed or the thread (by my definition) so I have flagged it for review by a moderator whose decision on this will stand. 

Do whatever feels right to you.

 
 
 
devangelical
PhD Principal
9.2.39  devangelical  replied to  sandy-2021492 @9.2.35    one month ago

I love watching you work. bwah ha ha ha

 
 
 
TᵢG
Professor Principal
10  TᵢG    one month ago

The video certainly suggests a pointless abuse of power.   The Lieutenant seemed very cooperative and apparently there was nothing actually to charge him with.    Looks like a couple of rogue cops.

It is surprising to me with body cams and all the crap the police are taking that there are still officers who engage in excessive power behavior in conditions where the subject is (it would seem) no threat and the charges are not severe (i.e. not fleeing the scene of a crime, no weapons, etc.).

We do not know all the facts but, man, these officers look bad.

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
11  sandy-2021492    one month ago

The cop who used the pepper spray has been fired.  Four month late, but better late than never.

 
 
 
Thomas
Freshman Guide
11.1  seeder  Thomas  replied to  sandy-2021492 @11    one month ago

It took national attention, looks like. 

 
 
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