Virginia AG sues town for "discriminatory policing"
Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring sued the Town of Windsor on Thursday, accusing its police department of "unconstitutional and discriminatory policing."
Why it matters: An investigation into the town's police department was prompted by a traffic stop in December 2020 in which two officers pepper-sprayed and drew their guns on Army officer Caron Nazario, who is Black and Latino.
Details: The lawsuit, filed in Isle of Wight Circuit Court, alleges the police department "lacks adequate policies to ensure that it is using force in a non-discriminatory manner."
- The suit also says that the department violated the Virginia Human Rights Act, citing data indicating that "approximately 42% of traffic stops are conducted on Black drivers."
What they're saying: "Our investigation was spurred by the egregious treatment against Lt. Nazario that we all saw in bodycam footage," Herring said in a statement.
- We "discovered that this incident was indicative of much larger problems within the department," he added. "Our months-long investigation uncovered huge disparities in enforcement against African American drivers."
- "We even discovered evidence that officers were actually being trained to go 'fishing' and engage in pretextual stops. That is why I have now filed suit to ensure accountability and to protect Virginians' rights."