RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Governor Ralph S. Northam is directing the Virginia State Police to conduct an “independent investigation” following the encounter between a U.S. Army officer and two Windsor, Virginia, police officers.
In December 2020, Army medic Lieutenant Caron Nazario, a soldier in the Virginia National Guard, was traveling in his newly-purchased Chevrolet Tahoe, west on U.S. 460 in the Town of Windsor, Virginia, when Officer Daniel Crocker initiated a traffic stop.
The traffic stop escalated, resulting in weapons being drawn, slang terminology being said to suggest Nazario was facing execution, as well as the soldier being pepper-sprayed and handcuffed.
Gov. Northam released a statement Sunday afternoon stating that the Commonwealth has done a lot of work on police reform. He added the work must continue to ensure residents of the state are having safe interactions with law enforcement.
In the statement, Gov. Northam invited Lt. Nazario to meet for a conversation about reform in the country.
Nazario is suing the two Town of Windsor police officers over the traffic stop. His attorney, Jonathan Arthur said his client’s Fourth Amendment rights were violated after officers used “unreasonable use of force” and temporarily took away Nazario’s gun.
Arthur said there needs to be accountability.
Meanwhile, the President of Virginia State University, where Lt. Nazario graduated in 2016, is responding to the viral video.
In a tweet, President Makollah Abdullah wrote “Caron Nazario did not deserve what happened to him. I hope he gets the justice he and his family demand.”
He continued, “We stand with our brother, our friend, our Trojan.”