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Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring. Photo: Zach Gibson/Getty Images

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."

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Trump seeks N.Y. attorney general's recusal from civil investigation

Combination images of New York Attorney General Letitia James and former President Trump. Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images; Dylan Hollingsworth/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Former President Trump and the Trump Organization filed a motion Monday for a preliminary injunction against New York Attorney General Letitia James' investigations into the business, accusing her of "unconstitutional" abuse of process.

Why it matters: Trump is seeking a stay in the civil investigation by James' office into the family business while the outcome of his lawsuit against the attorney general is pending or for James to "recuse herself from involvement in any capacity in the active civil and criminal investigation," according to the filing.

Judge nixes Gulf of Mexico oil leases in climate-focused ruling

Tug boats prepare to tow the semi-submersible drilling platform Noble Danny Adkins through the Port Aransas Channel into the Gulf of Mexico on December 12, 2020 in Port Aransas, Texas. Photo: Tom Pennington/Getty Images

A federal judge on Thursday canceled the Biden administration's late 2021 sale of new oil-and-gas drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

Why it matters: The ruling that the greenhouse gas emissions analysis by the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) was insufficient is a win for green groups that challenged the decision, as they seek to curb fossil fuel production.

45 million Americans under winter storm watches near New England

Computer model projection showing the winds moving around the powerful East Coast storm on Saturday Jan. 29, 2022. Credit: https://earth.nullschool.net

Nearly 45 million Americans are under winter weather alerts and warnings from North Carolina to northeastern Maine Thursday night, as a major winter storm threatens the region.

Why it matters: It is predicted to be the biggest blizzard since 2018 to strike the Northeast with more than 2 feet of snow possible in parts of eastern Massachusetts, according to the National Weather Service.