Video of Virginia Cops Arresting Army Lieutenant Caron Nazario Watched 9 Million Times
Police bodycam footage showing police officers escalate a traffic stop of an Army lieutenant has been viewed more than 9 million times online over the weekend.
The video, taken in December 2020, showed two Windsor, Virginia, police officers pull over second lieutenant Caron Nazario, who is Black and Latino, before drawing their guns and using pepper spray on him.
During the exchange Nazario, who was driving and dressed in uniform, held his hands outside the SUV window and told the officers—Daniel Crocker and Joe Gutierrez—he was “honestly afraid to get out.”
In response, Gutierrez told the lieutenant: “Yeah, you should be.”
At one point, Gutierrez also told Nazario he was “fixing” to ride the lightning,” a reference to execution by electric chair.
The officers later struck Nazario, who had since exited the vehicle, numerous times in the legs, which forced him to the ground and continued to question the lieutenant.
Nazario was not charged following the incident.
A 1-minute and 8-second video of the exchange has been viewed more than 9 million times since it was uploaded to Twitter on Friday. The post has been retweeted more than 17,600 times.
A near 7-minute-long video, obtained by The Virginian-Pilot, has been viewed more than 600,000 times on YouTube since it was posted on Thursday, April 8.
Crocker and Gutierrez’s handling of the stop also sparked calls for further investigation of the officers’ conduct.
Dr Errol Southers, former assistant chief of homeland security for the LA Airports Police Department, told Newsweek an independent investigation should be launched in order to provide accountability and transparency to the public.
He added: “The department should never be allowed to investigate this misconduct. They should not be allowed to investigate themselves. There needs to be some oversight here.”
Southers continued: “I think they deserve an investigation and the outcome should be disciplined, up to and including termination.”
Former chief of police of the Seattle Police Department, Carmen Best, told Newsweek, that an independent review would “remove the potential for subjective evaluation of the data and provide more confidence in the information coming forward.”
Army veteran David Weisman said in a tweet, which included the clip: “@WindsorPD, as a veteran, and as a human being, I demand you hold officers Daniel Crocker and Joe Gutierrez accountable for their police brutality assault of Lt. Caron Nazario.”
A lawyer representing Nazario filed a lawsuit against the two officers earlier this month, claiming they violated the lieutenant’s first and fourth amendment rights.
The lawsuit, seen by Newsweek, said Nazario is seeking “damages in the amount of one million dollars.”
Events surrounding the case are disputed and the officers said they used force after Nazario did not exit his SUV.
In a report filed following the altercation, Crocker said over the radio that he was attempting to stop an SUV that had no license plate and that the driver was “eluding police.”
Gutierrez drove nearby when he heard Crocker’s call and observed his colleague attempting to make the traffic stop and joined him.
Nazario was found to have had a temporary license plate taped to the inside of his rear window and that it was visible by the time the two officers reached the SUV.
The vehicle was new and Nazario had not yet been issued with permanent plates. Nazario also said he did not try to elude police, but was looking for a well-lit place to stop and later pulled the SUV into a nearby gas station.
Newsweek has approached the Windsor Police Department for comment.
Published at Sun, 11 Apr 2021 09:28:39 +0000