Virginia Police Officer Fired After Pepper Spraying Army Officer Caron Nazario During Traffic Stop
An officer of the Windsor, Virginia Police Department has been fired for pepper-spraying an Army officer during a 2020 traffic stop. The former police officer, Joe Gutierrez, was one of two officers who stopped the Army official, Caron Nazario, and subsequently pepper-sprayed him.
The Windsor Police Department released a statement Sunday saying an internal affairs investigation found that Gutierrez’s use of force “did not follow” department policy. “At the conclusion of this investigation, it was determined that Windsor Police Department policy was not followed,” the statement read.
“This resulted in disciplinary action, and department-wide requirements for additional training were implemented beginning in January and continue up to the present,” the statement continued. “Since that time, Officer Gutierrez was also terminated from his employment.”
Body camera footage from the traffic stop shows Gutierrez pointing his gun at Nazario and trying to open his car door. After the police officers had full view of Nazario, they pepper-sprayed him in his eyes.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) has since directed the Virginia State Police to conduct additional investigations into the the use of force at traffic stops in Virginia.