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Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam at the Governor's Mansion in Richmond, Va. in 2019. Photo: Katherine Frey/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) announced Sunday he's directed the state police to conduct an independent investigation after video emerged showing two officers pepper-spraying and drawing guns on a U.S. Army lieutenant during a traffic stop.

Driving the news: Caron Nazario, who is Black and Latino, is suing the police officers over the Dec. 5, 2020, incident. One of the officers involved, Joe Gutierrez, was fired Sunday.

What they're saying: Northam said in a statement he found the footage "disturbing" and that it angered him.

  • "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," Northam said.
  • "We must all continue the larger dialogue about [policing] reform in our country."

Of note: The Town of Windsor said in a statement late Sunday that officials found Windsor Police Department policy was not followed during the stop involving officers Gutierrez and Daniel Crocker.

What to watch: Northam added that he had invited Army medic Nazario to meet with him.

Editor's note: This article has been updated with details of Gutierrez's firing.

Go deeper

Virginia police officer fired over pepper-spraying of Army lieutenant

A Windsor, Virginia, police officer accused of pepper-spraying U.S. Army Lieut. Caron Nazario, a Black and Latino man, during a traffic stop has been fired, authorities announced Sunday night.

Driving the news: Virginia's governor has ordered an investigation after video emerged of the incident involving Windsor Police Department officers Daniel Crocker and Joe Gutierrez, which he called "disturbing." Gutierrez has now been fired, the Town of Windsor said late Sunday.

"I was horrified": Leaders respond to footage of Black and Latino Army officer threatened at traffic stop

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.

Protests erupt after police shoot Black driver near Minneapolis

Protesters create a chalk circle that reads "Justice for Daunte Wright" in the street in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, on Sunday. Photo: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Police fatally shot Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black man, during a traffic stop near Minneapolis Sunday, sparking protests and unrest that lasted into the night.

Between the lines: The shooting in the Twin Cities suburb of Brooklyn Center, in Hennepin County, has further heightened tensions between police and the local community as the trial continues of former police officer Derek Chauvin, over the death of George Floyd.