ISLE OF WIGHT, Va. (WAVY) — Members of the Isle of Wight NAACP are now calling for the termination of two Town of Windsor police officers following an incident during a traffic stop involving the two officers and a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army.
The stop happened on a night in December after one of the two officers said 2nd Lt. Caron Nazario’s SUV had tinted windows and didn’t have a rear license plate. It resulted in the officers drawing their guns, pointing them at him and using a slang term to suggest he was facing execution.
Body camera footage showed Nazario had his hands held in the air outside the driver’s side window as he told the armed officers, “I’m honestly afraid to get out.” One of the officers told Nazario, “Yeah, you should be!”
Nazario is now asking for at least $1 million in damages and for the court to rule that the two officers violated his rights, including rights under the Fourth Amendment.
The lawsuit, which was filed in Norfolk Federal Court April 2, said the incident occurred around 6:30 p.m. Dec. 5.
The lawsuit claims that Gutierrez said the charges could impact Nazario’s career with the Army. Jonathan Arthur, Nazario’s Richmond-based attorney who believes his client is a victim of police brutality, said this was threating retaliation if Nazario complained about the incident.
On Saturday, the Isle of Wight Branch of the NAACP called the body camera footage “very concerning” stating that the incident will “not go unaddressed.”
“We are done dying. We will not stand silently while another African American’s civil rights are violated.”
Members of the branch say they are calling for a meeting with the Windsor Chief of Police and requesting the termination of Officer Daniel Crocker who initiated the traffic stop, and Officer Joe Gutierrez, the second officer who responded to the incident.
Requests for comment from the Town of Windsor Chief of Police and town manager were not immediately returned Friday.
In a separate statement, members of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus are calling for the officers to “be investigated immediately and held accountable for their atrocious actions.”
“Not even a military uniform and brave service to this country can shield Black and Brown Virginians from racist police harassment and brutality,” Members of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus said.
“In stark contrast stands the shield of qualified/sovereign immunity, which allows law enforcement to engage in racist brutality with little to no consequences,” members added while calling for community members to “revolutionize police accountability” in Virginia.
Virginia Congressman Bobby Scott has called for a Federal investigation regarding the incident.
In a release sent Saturday evening, Scott said he was horrified watching the body camera footage.
“This should have been a routine traffic stop and the video speaks for itself.”
Scott highlighted the shooting death of Donovon Lynch who was killed by a Virginia Beach police officer in late March while the officer’s body-worn camera was not activated.
Scott has urged for both incidents to be investigated by federal authorities.
The incident has garnered national attention including statements from politicians and celebrities across the country.