Former HBCU student and second lieutenant in the U.S. Army is suing two Virginia police officers over a traffic stop last December. During the traffic stop, officers drew their guns immediately upon getting out of their police cars. The officers used unnecessary force while pepper-spraying him and knocking him to the ground.

Caron Nazario was coming from his duty station and going home at the time of the incident. Attorney Jonathan Arthur spoke with the Associated Press, saying, “Graduated from Virginia State University. He was commissioned out of their ROTC program. He’s an officer in the United States armed forces,” Arthur said. “These guys decide to do this to him.” After asked about Nazario’s condition after the incident, Arthur said, “He’s definitely not doing too well.”

Nazario drove to a well-lit gas station to pull over for his safety. Body camera footage shows Nazario with his hands held in the air outside the window. He told the armed officers, “I’m honestly afraid to get out.” And one of the officers responded with, “Yeah, you should be!”

The officers shouted conflicting orders at Nazario, telling him to put his hands out the window while also telling him to open the door and get out, the lawsuit says. Gutierrez told Nazario he was “fixing to ride the lightning,” a reference to the electric chair. The phrase was said in the movie “The Green Mile,” a film about a Black man facing execution.

“These cameras captured footage of behavior consistent with a disgusting nationwide trend of law enforcement officers, who, believing they can operate with complete impunity, engage in unprofessional, discourteous, racially biased, dangerous, and sometimes deadly abuses of authority, (including issuing unreasonable comply-or-die commands,) ignore the clearly established mandates of the Constitution of these United States and the state and local laws, and usurp the roles of legislator, judge, jury, and executioner; substituting the rule of law for their arbitrary and illegal conduct,” the lawsuit said.

Gutierrez, the officer taking lead on the stop was fired but, the younger officer Daniel Crocker remains employed by the department. The Windsor Police Department Chief Rodney Riddle finally addressed the incident publicly. The chief says he lost confidence in the officer’s ability to serve the community. Riddle says disciplinary action was taken earlier in the year. He followed up saying he believes Gutierrez could not serve effectively following the release of the video. The chief said that where Gutierrez failed was in his verbal commands and missed opportunities to deescalate the situation.

The incident happened in December 2020, and Gutierrez didn’t get fired until after the bodycam footage went viral in April 2021. The situation is yet another racially biased incident amongst police officers. It is in no way acceptable that this officer would not have been held accountable and the incident would’ve been swept under the rug if it wasn’t for social media.