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Black army officer pepper-sprayed by police during traffic stop in December 2020

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Published on 12 Apr 2021 / In News and Politics

One of two police officers accused of pepper-spraying and pointing their guns at a Black US army officer during a traffic stop in December 2020 has been fired, a Virginia town announced late on Sunday, hours after the governor called for an independent investigation. In the encounter, two officers are accused of drawing their guns, pointing them at army second lieutenant Caron Nazario and using a slang term to suggest he was facing execution.

Nazario, who is Black and Latino, was also pepper-sprayed and knocked to the ground by the officers, Joe Gutierrez and Daniel Crocker, according to the lawsuit he filed earlier this month against them. The two sides in the case dispute what happened but Crocker wrote in a report that he believed Nazario was “eluding police” and he considered it a “high-risk traffic stop”. Attorney Jonathan Arthur said Nazario was trying to stop in a well-lit area

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