Virginia Officer Who Pepper Sprayed Army Officer Fired

Joe Gutierrez is in trouble

Gutierrez is one of the police officers who pointed their guns at Army lieutenant Caron Nazario at a gas station in the southeastern town of Windsor, located 46 miles west of Virginia Beach. The incident took place in December and the whole thing was caught on camera.  The two Windsor police officers made the wrong move.

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It was the wrong traffic stop for both police officers. Gutierrez is fired after it was confirmed that he had pepper-sprayed the Lt.

The Associated Press shared a body camera video online. Gutierrez pepper-sprayed the Army officer multiple times after one of them tried to open his car door.

The Windsor Police Department released a statement suggesting they had conducted an investigation into Gutierrez’s case and the use of force. They determined that department policy “Wasn’t followed.”

“At the conclusion of this investigation, it was determined that Windsor Police Department policy was not followed,” the department wrote in a statement.

“This resulted in disciplinary action, and department-wide requirements for additional training were implemented beginning in January and continue up to the present. Since that time, Officer Gutierrez was also terminated from his employment,” the department added.

Earlier in April, the Army lieutenant filed a lawsuit claiming that both police officers violated his constitutional rights during a traffic stop.

The Windsor Police Department said it had “openly provided documents and related video to attorneys for Lt. Nazario.”

City officials had requested an investigation by Virginia State Police.

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) said Sunday that he directed Virginia State Police to start off an independent investigation into the traffic stop and eventual use of force.

In the video, we can see Nazario wearing his uniform and sitting in his parked vehicle at a gas station. His hands are up and the police officers are still pointing guns at him.

They ordered the lieutenant to get out of the vehicle, to which he said, “I’m honestly afraid to get out.”

“Yeah, you should be, get out!” one of the officers said.

Daniel Crocker is the other officer. He radioed his station saying he was trying to pull over a car with tinted windows and without a rear license plate. According to him, the situation was a “high-risk traffic stop.” He also said the driver was “eluding police.”

Nazario wasn’t trying to escape the police. However, he was trying to stop in a well-lit area “for officer safety and out of respect for the officers.” His rear plate was visible in the light, but the police had already taken their guns out.

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Source: The Hill

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