UNITED STATES NEWS

Virginia lawsuit stemming from police pepper-spraying an Army officer will be settled

Sep 7, 2023, 2:40 PM

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A town in Virginia has agreed to independent reviews of misconduct allegations against its police force to settle a lawsuit filed after a Black and Latino Army lieutenant was pepper sprayed during a traffic stop.

The town of Windsor also agreed to more officer training as part of a settlement agreement signed Thursday. In exchange, the state Attorney General’s Office will drop its argument that Windsor police broke a new law by depriving Caron Nazario of his rights.

Windsor agreed to keep working toward accreditation by the Virginia Law Enforcement Professional Standards Commission. Police also will hold officer training exercises twice a year and submit to the Isle of Wight Commonwealth’s Attorney reviewing any allegations of excessive force or misconduct against its officers.

The Attorney General began investigating the town after a December 2020 traffic stop involving two Windsor Police Department officers and Nazario, an Army lieutenant who is Black and Latino.

The traffic stop, captured on video, showed officers drawing their guns, pointing them at Nazario, who was in uniform, and using a slang term to suggest he was facing execution before pepper-spraying him and knocking him to the ground. He was not arrested.

The Attorney General’s Office said its investigation found that while about 22% of Windsor’s population is Black, they accounted for about 42% of the department’s traffic stops between July 1, 2020, and Sept. 30, 2021. The department also searched more vehicles driven by Black motorists than by white drivers.

Nazario sued the two officers involved in his encounter for $1 million in damages. But in January, a jury in Richmond mostly sided with the officers and awarded the soldier a total of $3,685.

After investigating the traffic stop, then Democratic Attorney General Mark Herring said his agency found it was part of larger problem with the department.

Republican Attorney General Jason Miyares, who defeated Herring in a subsequent election, signed the settlement agreement with the town of about 3,000. Windsor lies about 70 miles (112 kilometers) southeast of Richmond.

“What we all saw in the shocking traffic stop video involving Army Lt. Caron Nazario was an egregious and unjust use of power,” Miyares said in a statement. “I join the hundreds of thousands of good and decent law enforcement officers who stand against the kind of police misconduct we witnessed.”

Windsor officials said the town signed the agreement to “avoid further unfair and unjustified financial impositions placed upon the citizens of Windsor by the Office of the Attorney General.”

Over the past seven years, Windsor officers used force 20 times in 23,000 encounters. Six of those encounters involved African Americans, one of which led to a valid complaint, according to the town.

“The Town of Windsor has worked diligently within its police force to enhance training, improve policies and procedures, and ensure the public that its law enforcement operates without prejudice and within the law,” the town said in a statement.

United States News

Associated Press

The jobs market is hot, but layoffs keep coming in a shifting economic environment

The U.S. economy is humming and there are hundreds of thousands of jobs being added every month. In a stunning burst of hiring to start the year, the nation added 353,000 jobs in January, shrugging off the highest interest rates in two decades that have been put in place by the U.S. Federal Reserve in […]

21 minutes ago

Associated Press

A NYC subway conductor was slashed in the neck. Transit workers want better protections on rails

NEW YORK (AP) — Police in New York City are searching for a man who slashed a subway conductor in the neck as the union representing transit workers is calling for better protections on the rails. The Transportation Workers Union Local 100 said the attack happened around 3:40 a.m. Thursday as a southbound A train […]

33 minutes ago

Associated Press

Missouri House passes property tax cut aimed at offsetting surge in vehicle values

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri residents could see a roughly $138 million tax break under legislation passed Thursday by the House in an attempt to offset a recent surge in local tax collections caused by higher vehicle values. The legislation changing the way Missouri’s personal property tax collections are calculated comes as lawmakers in […]

41 minutes ago

Associated Press

Judge blocks Texas law that gives police broad powers to arrest migrants who illegally enter US

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A federal judge on Thursday blocked a new Texas law that gives police broad powers to arrest migrants suspected of illegally entering the U.S., dealing a victory to the Biden administration in its feud with Republican Gov. Greg Abbott over immigration enforcement. The preliminary injunction granted by U.S. District Judge David […]

2 hours ago

Vicksburg National Military Park Chief of Interpretation Brendan Wilson, left, conducts a ceremony ...

Associated Press

Black soldiers are honored, name by name, at a Civil War battlefield

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) — Thelma Sims Dukes grew up during the 1940s and ‘50s in a segregated Mississippi town steeped in Civil War history. As a small Black girl, she would walk to school through Vicksburg National Military Park — the hilly battlefield where Union and Confederate soldiers fought and died over whether the U.S. […]

2 hours ago

FILE - Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, is surrounded by reporters as he heads to the chamber at the Capi...

Associated Press

Texas Sen. Cornyn announces run for GOP leader as scramble to succeed McConnell begins in the Senate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Texas Sen. John Cornyn has informed his colleagues that he intends to run for Senate Republican leader, becoming the first senator to announce a campaign after Sen. Mitch McConnell said he will step down from the post in November. Cornyn, who served as McConnell’s No. 2 in leadership before he was term-limited […]

3 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

...

Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Virginia lawsuit stemming from police pepper-spraying an Army officer will be settled