According to recently filed court documents in the U.S. District Court for Eastern Virginia in Norfolk, officers Joe Gutierrez and Daniel Crocker initiated the traffic stop on second lieutenant in the U.S. Army Medical Corps, Caron Nazario.
The lawsuit states that Crocker and Gutierrez “approached with guns pointed at the car, gave opposing instructions to a uniformed soldier behind the wheel, and then pepper-sprayed him – all while threatening him with different charges and levels of violence for non-compliance according to body camera footage and legal filings, the officers.”
During an exchange between Nazario and the officers, Nazario claimed that he was afraid to leave his car as a result of the officers’ hostility. Officer Gutierrez reportedly responded, “Yeah, you should be.”
The officers also tried prying Nazario from his vehicle, pepper-spraying him multiple times. After finally apprehending him via brute force, the officers allegedly told Nazario that if he “would chill and let this go” they’d let him off with no charges. The lawsuit argues “the officers did not have probable cause to charge Nazario with any crimes, the stop was illegal and the officers threatened to ruin the Army officer’s military career to cover their own misdeeds.”