By Matt Agorist
Winston Salem, NC — Second Lieutenant Caron Nazario was on his way home from a long day of work at his duty station in December 2020 when he was targeted by some very bad apples for revenue collection. This would be no simple extortion, however, as the cops would hold the U.S. Army soldier at gunpoint, pepper spray him, and assault this innocent man for no reason.
Last year, Nazario found out that the main culprit behind his assault, Joe Gutierrez, will face no charges.
“Although I find the video very disturbing and frankly unsettling, Gutierrez’s use of force to remove Nazario did not violate state law as he had given multiple commands for Nazario to exit the vehicle,” special prosecutor Anton Bell said in his report.
“The problematic issue, however, were Gutierrez’s statements throughout the entire ordeal, which would lead a reasonable person to wonder whether underlying bias was at the root of how and why Nazario was treated in like manner,” Bell wrote, as he cleared Gutierrez of wrongdoing.
The other officer involved, Daniel Crocker, was never charged either.
Because the state consistently fails to hold its own accountable, Nazario was forced to file a lawsuit and that accountability is now being passed to the taxpayers.
“The officers involved not only assaulted Mr. Nazario, but pointed their weapons directly at him and, at some point during the encounter, threatened to kill him,” the suit alleges. “Mr. Nazario recalls that he thought he was going to die that evening.”
Nazario now suffers from anxiety, depression and PTSD from this stop, according to his lawsuit. Though U.S. District Judge Roderick C. Young ruled that Crocker and Gutierrez have qualified immunity for violating Nazario’s constitutional protections against excessive force and unreasonable seizure, as well as Nazario’s right to free speech by threatening him with arrest if he complained about their behavior, there is still legal ground to stand on.
According to ABC 7,
Nazario can present claims under state law of false imprisonment and assault and battery to a jury, the judge ruled. The judge also found Crocker liable for illegally searching for a gun in Nazario’s SUV, leaving the question of damages on that point to a jury. Nazario had a concealed-carry permit for the weapon.
The jury will also consider whether Gutierrez is liable for the illegal search. The former officer denies he knew Crocker was conducting the search.
Rise of the Warrior Cop by Radley Balko
On that night back in December 2020, Crocker and Gutierrez falsely accused Nazario of having no license plate and then targeted him for a traffic stop. When Crocker turned on his lights to pull Nazario over, Nazario drove to a well-lit area and then stopped.
Because the lieutenant in the U.S. Army Medical Corps didn’t immediately stop on the dark roadside and instead drove a short way to the well-lit gas station — which is his right — police accused him of “eluding.” However, as they had no reason for which to pull him over, there was nothing to elude.
Crocker radioed for Gutierrez to join him and these two bad cops proceeded to violate the rights of Nazario.
Nazario, who was in his full uniform, asked the officers who have their guns pointed at his head, “I’m serving this country, and this is how I’m treated?”
The officers then begin yelling conflicting orders at Nazario which could have led to the use of deadly force.
“I’m honestly afraid to get out,” Nazario tells the cops as they yell the conflicting orders.
One of the officers responded, “Yeah, you should be!” and then showed him why he should be afraid with a dose of chemical weapon to Nazario’s face.
Nazario was then pulled from the vehicle as the officers began striking him. He’s forced to the ground, completely humiliated and handcuffed and he hadn’t broken a single law.
Police then tell him that they pulled him over for driving without a license plate. Nazario had just purchased the vehicle and the temporary plate put there by the dealer was clearly visible in the back window of Nazario’s SUV.
At the end of the footage, after police beat down Nazario, made references to executing him, and pepper sprayed him without reason, the officers tell Nazario that if he complains about the way they treated him, they will bring charges against him.
“This is racism. It’s about the domination and humiliation of a Black man because he asked questions and ‘didn’t comply,'” political figure and activist Julian Castro said.
“Graduated from Virginia State University. He was commissioned out of their ROTC program. He’s an officer in the United States armed forces,” Nazario’s attorney Jonathan Arthur said of his client to The Associated Press (AP). “These guys decide to do this to him.”
“He’s a sworn member of the United States Army. He swears an oath to support to defend the Constitution of the United States from all enemies foreign and domestic—and the way these officers behaved, this implicates the oath that he takes,” Arthur added.
Source: The Free Thought Project
Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. Agorist is also the Editor at Large at the Free Thought Project. Follow @MattAgorist on Twitter, Steemit, and now on Minds.
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