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An Army officer is suing two Virginia police officers after he said they drew their guns and pepper-sprayed him during a traffic stop in December.

Why it matters: Footage of the incident has drawn widespread criticism from leaders and groups in the state. Caron Nazario, who is Black and Latino, is heard saying “I’m honestly afraid to get out," to which a police officer responds “Yeah, you should be," in a video from a body-worn camera.

State of play: An incident report by police officer Joe Gutierrez said Nazario did not comply to commands, per WTKR, and police said Nazario was driving a car with tinted windows and no rear license plate. They said he had been "eluding police."

  • Nazario's lawyer says the Army officer was trying to stop at a well-lit area. He says his Fourth Amendment rights were violated and is suing Gutierrez and officer Daniel Crocker for $1 million in damages.
  • Police were not immediately available for comment.

What they're saying: U.S. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.) who represents Windsor, Va. where the incident occurred, said in a statement the stop highlights the need for police reform, and urged the Senate to approve the police reform bill that has passed in the House.

“I was horrified when I viewed the recently released video footage of the police treatment of Caron Nazario, a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. This should have been a routine traffic stop and the video speaks for itself. The release of this video also comes while the Hampton Roads community is still mourning the loss of Donovan Lynch who was killed by officers while their body worn cameras were not activated. Both of these instances should be investigated by federal authorities.

Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring said his office is monitoring the situation, and the Isle of Wight NAACP said it is launching an investigation into the Windsor Police department with Herring's support.

  • "We are done dying," the branch wrote on Facebook. "We will not stand silently while another African American's civil rights are violated."
  • The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus in a statement called for the officers to be investigated, and said the state needs to "revolutionize police accountability"
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for Eastern Virginia in Norfolk, says the officers said they would file felony charges that would have impacted Nazario's career.

Go deeper

Apr 10, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Maryland lawmakers override Hogan vetoes of police accountability legislation

Marion Gray Hopkins with Coalition of Concerned Mothers speaks during a rally promoting police reform on March 4 in Annapolis, Maryland. Photo: Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Maryland's Democratic-controlled legislature on Saturday voted to override Republican Gov. Larry Hogan's vetoes of police accountability legislation.

Why it matters: Maryland is the first state to repeal its Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights, the Washington Post notes.

Kentucky governor signs bill limiting no-knock warrants

Tamika Palmer, Breonna Taylors mother,atches as Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear signs a bill limiting no-knock warrants into law in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo: Jon Cherry/Getty Images

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear signed a bill Friday that limits the use of no-knock warrants in the state.

Why it matters: The law comes more than a year after the police killing of Breonna Taylor in a botched raid. While the law doesn't go as far as protesters and some state lawmakers hoped, many said it represents a step in the right direction and "will save lives."

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies — Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker