RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The town of Windsor wants a lawsuit filed by former Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring accusing the town’s police department of a pattern of discriminatory and unconstitutional practices against Black people to be dismissed.

In a Jan. 28 court filing, counsel for the town claimed Herring lacked adequate facts to make the accusations, made errors in the lawsuit and relied upon “erroneous and speculative conclusions.”

The lawsuit, filed in Isle of Wight Circuit Court on Dec. 30, 2021, came after an investigation from the attorney general’s office that was spurred on by a December 2020 traffic stop in which Windsor police officers pepper-sprayed and pointed their guns at U.S. Army Lt. Caron Nazario, who is Black and Latino.

The traffic stop gained national attention after body-camera footage was made public, with the Virginia NAACP and advocacy groups calling for an investigation. Nazario, who was in uniform, was handcuffed and knocked to the ground during the traffic stop. He sued the two officers involved and one was fired from the department.

Herring’s office said its investigation revealed unconstitutional racial disparities in traffic stops, searches and discrepancies in data reporting to the town council and state authorities.

The town of Windsor disputed those claims in its response, asserting that Herring’s office only cited Lt. Nazario’s case in the lawsuit and incorrectly used traffic stop data to claim the number of Black drivers stopped exceeded the percentage of Black residents in Windsor.

“The Attorney General’s claims do not include any allegations of the location of these traffic or investigatory stops on State Route 460, traffic volumes, the age, or that the motorists stopped in the Town of Windsor as a part of the alleged data were actually residents of the Town of Windsor or Isle of Wight County,” the town’s counsel wrote in the Jan. 28 court filing. “The data compiled by the Community Policing Data does not include the residency of the person stopped.”

The lawsuit from the attorney general’s office asks the court to keep the Windsor Police Department from performing any discriminatory practices, implement policy changes to ensure traffic stops are done in a bias-free, non-pretextual manner and that use of force incident reports are properly shared with Virginia State Police.

The suit also calls for a court order for a period of third-party monitoring of the town’s police department, with Windsor footing the bill, to ensure it is in compliance with the law. It also seeks a $50,000 fine for each violation of the Virginia Human Rights Act.

Virginia’s attorney general has the authority under a new law to file lawsuits aimed at ending systematic civil rights violations. In a release announcing the complaint, Herring’s office said the lawsuit — which was brought forward by the attorney general’s Office of Civil Rights — was the first time the new powers were used against a law enforcement agency.

The case is now being overseen by Virginia’s new Attorney General Jason Miyares. A spokesperson for Miyares responded to 8News after publication and said the Attorney General’s office has no comment at this time.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.