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US policeman who pepper sprayed Army officer fired

IANS | April 12, 2021 11:47 AM

WASHINGTON: A policeman from the US state of Virginia who pepper sprayed an Army officer at a traffic stop last year has been fired, an official statement confirmed.
The incident, that took place at a gas station in Windsor on December 5, 2020, was caught on camera.

It showed police officers Joe Gutierrez and Daniel Crocker, while pointing a gun, ask Caron Nazario, a second lieutenant in the Army, to pull over.

They then asked Nazario to get out, to which he replied: "I've not committed any crime... "I'm honestly afraid to get out."

In the video, Nazario repeatedly asks why he was pulled over, after which Gutierrez is seen pepper-spraying the Army officer multiple times.

Nazario is then handcuffed while police search his car.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the Windsor Police Department said: "The pursuit and ultimate stop resulted in the use of pepper spray against Lt. Nazario by Officer Gutierrez.

"As a result of this use of force, Department policy requires an internal investigation to determine the appropriateness of such actions. The investigation of this event began immediately.

"At the conclusion of this investigation, it was determined that Windsor Police Department policy was not followed. 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."

Earlier this month, Nazario filed a lawsuit arguing that the officers violated his constitutional rights during the incident, reports The Hill news website.

In Sunday's statement, the Windsor Police Department said it has "openly provided documents and related video to attorneys for Lt. Nazario".

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