The lawyer common of Virginia mentioned on Monday that he was investigating whether or not there was an “unlawful pattern or practice of conduct” on the Windsor Police Department after a uniformed Black U.S. Army medic was held at gunpoint and doused with pepper spray by its officers.

Two members of the Police Department carried out a visitors cease on Caron Nazario, a second lieutenant within the U.S. Army Medical Corps, in December, throughout which one of many officers, Joe Gutierrez, threatened Lieutenant Nazario earlier than dousing him with pepper spray and pushing him to the bottom, in line with physique digicam footage of the episode.

Mr. Gutierrez’s actions had been “appalling” and “dangerous,” Mark Herring, the lawyer common, mentioned in an interview on CNN on Monday night time.

His workplace has requested information from the Windsor Police Department from way back to a decade as a part of its investigation into “whether there might have been a pattern of police misconduct either by these officers specifically or more broadly within the department,” Mr. Herring mentioned.

“If so,” he mentioned, “then we’ve got more work to do to make sure that this never happens there again.”

Mr. Gutierrez was fired after the Police Department carried out an inside investigation into the episode and decided that he had not adopted the division’s insurance policies, the city mentioned in a statement on Sunday.

An investigation was underway by the Virginia State Police, Mr. Herring mentioned, including that it was necessary to even have an “independent, unaffiliated agency to fully investigate and to make sure that there is accountability.”

The investigation by the lawyer common’s workplace was in search of to find out if “this is an isolated incident” or if there had been earlier complaints of “unconstitutional policing or brutality” by the officers or the division, mentioned Mr. Herring, a Democrat who’s running for re-election this 12 months.

The lawyer common’s workplace has requested the personnel information for the 2 officers concerned within the visitors cease, in addition to information of any complaints to the division over the past 10 years relating to using power, visitors stops or “treatment on the basis of race, color and/or national origin,” in line with a letter despatched on Monday to the chief of police, Rodney Daniel Riddle.

A consultant for Chief Riddle didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. The city mentioned in its earlier assertion that the episode had resulted in disciplinary motion and “departmentwide requirements for additional training,” and that Windsor would “continue to provide information related to this event in its commitment to openness.”

Lieutenant Nazario filed a lawsuit within the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia this month accusing the officers of illegally looking out his automotive, utilizing extreme power and violating his rights below the First Amendment. The lawsuit seeks $1 million in compensatory damages.

In footage of the visitors cease, Lieutenant Nazario says to the officers: “I’m serving this country and this is how I’m treated? What’s going on?”

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

In the lawsuit, Lieutenant Nazario additionally accused the officers of threatening to destroy his navy profession by charging him with a number of crimes if he complained about their conduct.

Mr. Gutierrez instructed Lieutenant Nazario that the police chief had given him the discretion to let him go as long as the lieutenant didn’t “fight and argue.” Mr. Gutierrez additionally threatened that he would write a summons if Lieutenant Nazario didn’t “chill” concerning the visitors cease, and that the Army can be alerted if a summons had been written. Lieutenant Nazario mentioned he can be alerting his supervisors about what had occurred.

Michael Grinston, sergeant main of the Army, mentioned in a tweet on Monday that he was pleased with Lieutenant Nazario, who he mentioned had “represented himself and our Army well through his calm, professional response to the situation.”

In his interview with CNN, Mr. Herring mentioned that “it was Lieutenant Nazario who was the calm one — who was the responsible one.”

Source link