US army officer sues police over violent traffic stop

US army officer sues police over violent traffic stop
The traffic stop was captured on police bodycam footage
2 Min Read

Daily US Times: A black US army officer has filed a lawsuit against two policemen who pepper-sprayed him and pointed their guns at him during a traffic stop.

During the bodycam footage, taken in December in Virginia, army Second Lieutenant Caron Nazario is wearing his uniform.

“I’m honestly afraid to get out,” the army officer tells the two police officers, as one officer says “Yeah you should be.”

Police say Mr Nazario, who is Black and Latino, was stopped for failing to display licence plates but temporary plates are visible in the video.

The soldier was handcuffed while his car was searched. He asked why force was being used against him and a police officer replied: “Because you’re not co-operating.” The army officer was later released without charge.

The suit, filed at the US District Court of Norfolk, Virginia, against the two Windsor Police Department officers, Daniel Crocker and Joe Gutierrez, alleges violations to his constitutional rights, and includes illegal search, assault and illegal detention.

Windsor Police Department gave no immediate response about the incident.

The lawsuit against the police officers comes at a time of increased scrutiny over racial justice and alleged police brutality towards minorities.

Ex-police Minnesota officer Derek Chauvin is currently on trial for murdering George Floyd, an African-American. The footage of Mr Chauvin, who is white, with his knee on Mr Floyd’s neck during an arrest sparked global protests against racism.

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