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Joe Gutierrez, a police officer with the Virginia State Police, was fired after a video of an incident which took place on December 5 emerged showing him holding an Army officer at gunpoint during an illegal traffic stop.

The footage clearly shows how Army Second Lieutenant Caron Nazario has his hands visible out of the window of his new SUV, but he’s still ordered to get out of the vehicle by Gutierrez. Apparently, Lt. Nazario was pulled over for not having tags displayed on his SUV although the temporary dealer plate is visible in the officer’s body camera video.

As he’s ordered to get out, Lt. Nazario could be heard saying, “I’ve not committed any crime,” after which the police officers pull their guns on him. At that point, Lt. Nazaro says, “I’m honestly afraid to get out,” to what one of the officers responds, “Yeah dude, you should be.”

In the next moment, Lt. Nazaro is paper-sprayed and handcuffed.

The case is currently at court as Lt. Nazaro is suing the town for the way he was treated for no apparent reason. The lawsuit claims unlawful seizure, illegal search, excessive force, violation of his constitutional rights, battery and false imprisonment. The lawsuit also says that the assault was racially motivated as Lt. Nazario is Latino and African American.

The cruelty expressed by Gutierrez and the other officer, Daniel Crocker, was highly condemned by both the citizens and their colleagues.

“The Town of Windsor prides itself in its small-town charm and the community-wide respect of its Police Department,” the town said. “Due to this, we are saddened for events like this to cast our community in a negative light. Rather than deflect criticism, we have addressed these matters with our personnel administratively, we are reaching out to community stakeholders to engage in dialogue, and commit ourselves to additional discussions in the future.”

Sergeant Major of the Army Michael Grinston spoke of the incident as well and twitted that he was extremely proud of Lt. Nazario because he “represented himself and our Army well through his calm, professional response to the situation.”

Governor Ralph Northam of Virginia took to the social media to express his opinion regarding the matter, writing: “The incident in Windsor is disturbing and angered me — and I am directing the Virginia State Police to conduct an independent investigation.

“Our Commonwealth has done important work on police reform, but we must keep working to ensure that Virginians are safe during interactions with police, the enforcement of laws is fair and equitable, and people are held accountable.”

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