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Officer who pepper-sprayed a black Army medic is fired




A Virginia police officer has been fired for pepper-spraying a Army 2nd lieutenant. Former Officer Joe Gutierrez was let go from his duty after footage was released for a December 5th traffic stop. Caron Nazario, 27 was stopped in Windsor after driving his new car at night time. He noticed police lights behind him and decided it was best to pull over in a well lit area, according to a lawsuit filed this month.

In the body cam footage captured, the two police officers ordered for the car to stop and pointed their weapons then doused him with pepper-spray. 

Lieutenant Nazario, has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. It accuses the officers of illegally searching his car, using excessive force and violating his rights under the First Amendment. The lawsuit seeks $1 million in compensatory damages. The police officers did not arrest Lieutenant Nazario and have not filed charges.

According to the police report, Nazairo was pulled over because his S.U.V. didn’t have license plates. According to the lawsuit the lieutenant had a temporary plate taped on to the back window, which was visible.

Windsor police chief takes full responsibility for what happened.  During a news conference, Police Chief Rodney Riddle says former Officer Joe Gutierrez was disciplined in January after an investigation into the traffic stop but says once the video became public, he lost faith that Gutierrez could continue on the seven-person force. He continues saying, “Lieutenant Nazario took certain actions that created where we got to, and I think that you know… we’ll let the courts work that part of it out,” Riddle said. “At the end of the day, I’m glad nobody got hurt. That situation ended in the best way that it could have. I wish he would have complied a whole lot earlier.”

Caron Nazario is also the nephew of the late Eric Gardner. Gardner unfortunately lost his life at the hands of police.

Following the news conference, the Isle of Wight Branch of the NAACP called for the resignation of Riddle.

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