A police officer in Virginia who confronted a uniformed Black Army medic at gunpoint and doused him with pepper spray throughout a visitors cease, an trade captured on video, has been fired, officers mentioned on Sunday.

The officer, Joe Gutierrez, was terminated for his function within the Dec. 5 encounter involving Caron Nazario, a second lieutenant within the U.S. Army Medical Corps, the city of Windsor, Va., said in a statement posted on its website.

Officials mentioned an inner investigation had decided that Mr. Gutierrez’s actions weren’t according to the division’s insurance policies. They didn’t present additional particulars on when Mr. Gutierrez had been fired.

Body camera footage of the encounter has drawn widespread consideration and criticism of Mr. Gutierrez, in addition to one other officer who was additionally concerned within the visitors cease. Both officers had been sued on April 2 in U.S. District Court in Norfolk by Lieutenant Nazario, who has accused the officers of utilizing extreme power and violating his constitutional rights.

Windsor, a rural city of about 2,700 folks that’s about 30 miles west of Norfolk, mentioned within the assertion on Sunday that it had requested an investigation into the visitors cease by the Virginia State Police.

“The town of Windsor prides itself on its small-town charm and the community-wide respect of its Police Department,” the city mentioned. “Due to this, we are saddened for events like this to cast our community in a negative light. Rather than deflect criticism, we have addressed these matters with our personnel administratively, we are reaching out to community stakeholders to engage in dialogue, and commit ourselves to additional discussions in the future.”

There was no lawyer listed for Mr. Gutierrez in courtroom data, and efforts to succeed in him on Sunday evening weren’t instantly profitable.

Earlier on Sunday, Gov. Ralph Northam of Virginia, a Democrat, said on social media that he had begun an out of doors evaluation of the encounter.

“The incident in Windsor is disturbing and angered me — and I am directing the Virginia State Police to conduct an independent investigation,” Mr. Northam mentioned. “Our Commonwealth has done important work on police reform, but we must keep working to ensure that Virginians are safe during interactions with police, the enforcement of laws is fair and equitable, and people are held accountable.”

Mr. Northam mentioned that he would invite Lieutenant Nazario to satisfy with him for a dialogue about police reform.

A lawyer for Lieutenant Nazario didn’t instantly reply to a request for touch upon Sunday evening.

The medic was driving to Petersburg, Va., from a drill weekend the evening of Dec. 5 when he noticed police lights flashing behind him.

According to the lawsuit and video footage of the encounter, Lieutenant Nazario, who’s Black and Latino, drove about a mile to a gasoline station as a result of he had been nervous about stopping on a darkened highway.

“Get out of the car,” one officer could be heard yelling as Lieutenant Nazario, remaining seated, repeatedly asks why he has been stopped and why the officers have drawn their weapons. He positions his empty arms exterior the window.

“I’m honestly afraid to get out of the car,” Lieutenant Nazario says.

“Yeah,” says Mr. Gutierrez, in accordance with footage from his physique digicam. “You should be.”

Lieutenant Nazario was carrying his Army uniform on the time.

“I’m serving this country and this is how I’m treated?” he says. “What’s going on?”

“What’s going on is you’re fixing to ride the lightning, son,” Mr. Gutierrez yells.

After he was sprayed, Lieutenant Nazario started crying and cursing.

The law enforcement officials didn’t arrest Lieutenant Nazario and didn’t file expenses.

In a report from that evening, the officers mentioned that they had pulled over Lieutenant Nazario as a result of his S.U.V. didn’t have license plates. Lieutenant Nazario mentioned he had lately purchased a Chevrolet Tahoe and was ready for license plates. Temporary ones had been taped contained in the rear window and had been seen, in accordance with the lawsuit.



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