Washington, April 12 2021: Footage has emerged of two police officers detaining and pepper spraying a Black army officer at gun point. The governor of Virginia state, Ralph Northam has since vowed a full investigation into the incident which he said “angered” and “disturbed” him. He said, “We must keep working to ensure Virginians are safe during interactions with police, the enforcement of laws is fair and equitable, and people are held accountable.”
The victim, army Lieutenant Caron Nazario, who is Black and Latino, repeatedly asked what he had done wrong and said, “This is really messed up,” as the officers holding guns demanded he get out of his car.
Nazario, wearing his military uniform, was driving a new SUV without yet permanent license plates was accused by the police of being non-cooperative after they pulled him over.
In the recent past, police in the United States have been hit with multiple allegations of racism and misconduct, including over the death of a Black man in Minneapolis last year in a case that attracted international outrage. The police officer involved, Derek Chauvin, is currently on trial over George Floyd’s death, facing charges of manslaughter and murder.
According to the Washington Post said that Nazario, a health administration officer with the Virginia National Guard, was driving home on December 5 when he was pulled over. Footage from the officers’ bodycams and Nazario’s phone spread rapidly over the weekend after Nazario filed a lawsuit on April 2 seeking $1 million in damages.
He was released without charge after the incident. The lawsuit reportedly claims police threatened to end his military career if he spoke out about the conduct of the officers.
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