Photo: Getty Images
  /  01.20.2023

As previously reported by REVOLT, on Dec. 5, 2020, Second Lieutenant Caron Nazario was pulled over by two white officers in Windsor, Virginia. The Afro-Latino man, wearing his Army uniform at the time, was riding in his brand new Chevy Tahoe when cops stopped him for not having a permanent license plate installed.

The troubling interaction was documented via the officers’ body cameras. With guns drawn, one of the cops yelled, “Put your hands outside the window,” at Nazario. While stopped at a BP gas station parking lot, the Army official questioned the hostility. “I’m serving this country, and this is how I’m treated?” he asked. “Well, guess what? I’m a veteran, too, and I learned how to obey,” the officer barked back. With his hands in plain sight, Nazario admitted he was afraid to get out of the vehicle. One of the cops responded, “Yeah, you should be.”

Nazario was then pepper-sprayed, and while in agony, the two cops pulled him from the SUV and handcuffed him. The Army lieutenant later filed a million-dollar lawsuit that named Joe Gutierrez and Daniel Crocker as the officers involved. Documents added that Nazario suffered physical and mental damage, and his constitutional rights were violated. Gutierrez and Crocker also allegedly threatened they would end Nazario’s military career if the Afro-Latino man reported their actions.

According to The Washington Post, on Tuesday (Jan. 17), a Virginia federal jury awarded Nazario just $3,685 of his million-dollar lawsuit. Included in his total were $1,000 in punitive damages and $2,685 in compensatory damages after it was determined Gutierrez assaulted him. The Army lieutenant’s lawyer, Tom Roberts, said the amount his client received was “adding insult to injury.” He also said it is “unlikely that the verdict will send a message to police officers, other than to let them know that this behavior will not result in any meaningful consequences.”

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