A Black Army officer pepper-sprayed by police said he thought he could be murdered as officers gave quickly changing commands

Sarah Al-Arshani
·2 min read
caron nazario 2
Lt. Caron Nazario is seen after being placed in handcuffs. He is suing the two police officers for violating his constitutional rights. Windsor Police via AP
  • A Black uniformed Army officer was held at gunpoint and pepper-sprayed during a traffic stop.

  • Second lieutenant Caron Nazario filed a lawsuit against the two Virginia officers involved.

  • In a complaint, Nazario said they gave conflicting orders and he was worried he would be murdered.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

The Black uniformed Army officer who was held at gunpoint and pepper-sprayed during a traffic stop in Virginia said officers switched their commands so much he was worried he'd be murdered because he couldn't keep up.

Second lieutenant Caron Nazario, who is Black and Hispanic, filed a lawsuit against Virginia officers Joe Gutierrez and Daniel Crocker, who pulled him over while he was on his way home from his station on December 5, 2020.

Nazario was driving a brand-new car and had his license plate displayed on cardboard fixed in his back window. The officers said they pulled him over because of missing plates and that he was "eluding police." He had pulled over at a gas station less than a mile from where Gutierrez first turned on his emergency lights to pull him over.

A complaint reviewed by Insider said Nazario was denied repeated requests to know why he was stopped and the officers "began to shout inconsistent commands at Lt. Nazario, at times telling him to keep his hands outside the window and other times, demanding that he open the door and exit the vehicle."

The complaint also said Nazario remained calm despite being "shocked at the ferociousness of these Defendants and the very real possibility that the Defendants may murder him because he could not comply with their inconsistent demands."

Body camera footage of the incident shows the officers yelling at Nazario to get out of the car. While holding his hands up, he says: "I'm honestly afraid to get out."

As of Sunday, Gutierrez was fired, but it's not clear if his termination was related to Nazario's lawsuit.

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Read the original article on Insider