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UPDATED April 12, 11:10 a.m. ET: According to the Associated Press, Joe Gutierrez has since been fired after the governor called for an independent investigation into the case. In a statement Sunday, Windsor officials said an internal investigation opened at the time into the use of force determined that department policy wasn’t followed. Officials said disciplinary action was taken and Gutierrez has since been fired.
“The Town of Windsor prides itself in its small-town charm and the community-wide respect of its Police Department,” the statement said. “Due to this, we are saddened for events like this to cast our community in a negative light. Rather than deflect criticism, we have addressed these matters with our personnel administratively, we are reaching out to community stakeholders to engage in dialogue, and commit ourselves to additional discussions in the future.”
See original story from 04/10/2021 below.
A second lieutenant in the U.S. Army is suing two Virginia police officers who pointed their guns and pepper-sprayed him during a routine traffic stop, the Washington Post reports.
The Black and Latino second lieutenant, Caron Nazario, states in the lawsuit filed last month that his constitutional rights were violated during the traffic stop in Windsor. Body camera footage captures both officers with guns drawn, screaming at Nazario to exit his vehicle without explaining why.
Nazario can be heard saying “I’m honestly afraid to get out,” to which one of the officers replies, “Yeah, you should be!”
“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 Guardian reports that one of the officers, Daniel Crocker, said over the radio that he was attempting to stop a vehicle with no rear license plate and that Nazario was “eluding police” and should be considered a “high-risk traffic stop.”
As Nazario refused to leave his vehicle for his own safety, one of the officers reached inside and began pepper-spraying him, eventually forcing him to exit the vehicle.
Both officers are reportedly still employed by the Windsor police force, which is located 70 miles outside of Richmond, Virginia.