A judge is clearing the way for a lawsuit to continue against the town of Windsor, Virginia, for what it alleges is a clear pattern of discriminatory police activity. The Office of the Attorney General initially filed this lawsuit after a 2020 traffic stop that involved two Windsor police officers and an Army lieutenant named Caron Nazario, according to the Associated Press.
In the video, the two officers are shown drawing their guns at Nazario after pulling him over at a gas station. They were then captured using a slang term to suggest he was facing execution. Then they pepper-sprayed him and knocked him to the ground. Nazario, who is of Black and Latino descent, filed a separate lawsuit against the officers in question. Nazario’s attorney Tom Roberts felt the use of force was intentional in a statement to the Associated Press.
An attorney for the Windsor police attempted to get the lawsuit thrown out, arguing this one incident did not mean the town had a pattern of racism. Initially, outgoing Democrat Attorney General Mark Herring filed the lawsuit. However, Republican Jason Miyares took office over and amended the lawsuit.
Miyares added three claims that Windsor deprived Lt. Nazario and others of their First, Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendment rights. This would also be a “violation of the Virginia Public Integrity and Law Enforcement Misconduct Act.” The claims go on to say the department policed in a way that unlawfully discriminated based on race, color, or national origin.
Members of the Isle of Wight NAACP are pleased to see this lawsuit continuing. A future trial date will be forthcoming.
From WVEC 13 News:
“It is good to know that it is not about parties. I would think that the outgoing Democratic AG realized that maybe there are some problems where patterns or practices are concerned,” Valerie Butler, Isle of Wight NAACP president, said. “It is nice to know that the current administration has also agreed to take up the case.”