Police in the small town of Windsor, Virginia, found themselves in the national spotlight after being hit with a lawsuit from an Army officer, who is Black and Latino, after a traffic stop last December.
In body camera and cell phone video, Army Second Lieutenant Caron Nazario, still in his uniform, can be seen with his hands visible out of the window of his new car.
“I’ve not committed any crime,” Nazario said.
When two Windsor police officers, guns drawn, ordered him to get out, he said, “I’m honestly afraid to get out.”
“Yeah dude, you should be,” one officer responds.
In the video, Nazario repeatedly asks why he was pulled over, and one of the two officers pepper sprays and kicks him. He is then handcuffed while police search his car.
Nazario asks, “Why am I being treated like this? Why?”
“Because you’re not cooperating,” an officer responds.
Attorney Jonathan Arthur, who is representing Nazario in a lawsuit filed earlier this month against the two officers, said that he was afraid if he took his hands out of view, something bad would happen.
“To unbuckle his seatbelt, to do anything, any misstep — he was afraid that they were going to kill him,” Arthur said.
The incident report said that Nazario was initially pulled over for not having tags displayed on his SUV, but the temporary dealer plate is visible in the officer’s body-camera video.
Nazario was released without being charged.
“What prompted him to file is the need to stop this conduct,” Arthur said. “The need to hold these two officers accountable and make sure they cannot do it again.”
The Windsor Police Department did not respond to a CBS News request for comment.