Caron Nazario, a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, was driving to Petersburg, Va., from a drill weekend the night of Dec. 5 when he saw police lights flashing behind him.
Too nervous to stop on a darkened road, Lieutenant Nazario, who is Black and Latino, drove about a mile to a gas station, pulled over and placed his cellphone on his dashboard, according to a lawsuit and video footage of the encounter.
Immediately, two Windsor police officers can be heard yelling orders at him.
“Get out of the car,” one yells as Lieutenant Nazario, remaining seated, repeatedly asks why he had been stopped and why the officers had drawn their guns. He positions his empty hands outside the window.
“I’m honestly afraid to get out of the car,” Lieutenant Nazario says.
“Yeah,” says one of the officers, Joe Gutierrez, according to footage from his body camera. “You should be.”
reported this week by The Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk.
Officer Gutierrez and the other officer named in the lawsuit, Daniel Crocker, did not respond to requests for comment on Saturday. Chief Rodney Daniel Riddle of the Windsor Police Department did not respond to messages.
The police force in Windsor, a rural town of about 2,700 people about 30 miles west of Norfolk, consists of six members: a chief, a first sergeant, a detective and three officers, according to the town’s website.