Dirty Racist Cops … Again

Caron Nazario is a lieutenant in the U.S. Army medical corp, serving in Norfolk, Virginia.  Lieutenant Nazario also happens to be Black and Hispanic.  In December, Lt. Nazario purchased a new SUV and on December 5th, he was driving home from work in said SUV when he saw flashing lights behind him.  Lt. Nazario drove to the nearest well-lighted place, a service station, before pulling over.  He did not speed up or in any way attempt to evade the police car behind him, but rather he slowed down, activated his turn signals, and drove for less than a mile before reaching the service station.  He merely wanted, understandably, to get to a well-lighted area.

Upon stopping, Officer Daniel Crocker, with his gun pointed at Lt. Nazario, ordered him out of the vehicle, by which time a second police officer, Joe Gutierrez, had arrived and also had a gun pointed at him.  Lt. Nazario put his empty hands outside the window, as ordered, to show that officers that he was unarmed, and asked them why they stopped him.  A perfectly valid question, under the circumstances.  The officer repeated the order to exit the vehicle, and Lt. Nazario replied that he was “honestly afraid to get out” his vehicle.  Who wouldn’t be, with two officers holding guns on him?  One officer replied, “Yeah, you should be.”  Just a minute later, Officer Gutierrez told Lt. Nazario that he was “fixin’ to ride the lightning,” a slang expression referring to an execution by electric chair.

After some back and forth, with the officers yelling at him to get out of the vehicle, but also to keep his hands outside the window (ever try opening the car door from inside, with your hands outside the window?), and Lt. Nazario asking why he was being stopped, why he was being treated in such a manner, one of the officers sprayed pepper spray into his face through the open window, jerked his door open, sprayed more pepper spray, kicked him in the knees, and slammed him to the ground.

The officer’s given reason for initiating the traffic stop was that he could not see Lt. Nazario’s license plate, which was clearly visible in the back window, as 30-day plates for new vehicles are typically displayed.  The Lieutenant was released without charges, but this week he filed a lawsuit accusing the two Windsor, Virginia police officers of violating his constitutional rights by holding him at gunpoint, suggesting he was facing execution, assaulting him, and illegally detaining him.  The lawsuit states …

“These cameras captured footage of behavior consistent with a disgusting nationwide trend of law enforcement officers, who, believing they can operate with complete impunity, engage in unprofessional, discourteous, racially biased, dangerous and sometimes deadly abuses of authority.”

The lawsuit also claims police threatened to end Nazario’s military career if he spoke out about the incident.  The body cam video clearly shows that the temporary license plate was visible through the window of the vehicle.  The body cam video stopped shortly after Lt. Nazario was slammed to the ground.  Gutierrez wrote in his report that his camera stopped recording after it got “compressed” between him and Nazario during a struggle. Nazario also recorded part of the incident from his cellphone.

I watched the video and found it both chilling and sickening.  The beginning is footage from Nazario’s cellphone that he activated when he realized he had guns pointed at him.

I won’t even bother to ask the question, “If Lt. Nazario had been a white man, would the cops have acted similarly?” for we all know the answer to that.  The better question is, “How do we reform policing?  How do we stop these incidents, often leading to murder, from ever happening?”  I wish I knew the answer, but I DO know what’s going to happen if there are many more incidents like this, if there are many more murders of unarmed black men by police, or if Derek Chauvin is let off with naught but a slap on the wrist … there is going to be blood shed in the streets of America.

We the People are sick and tired of having to fear the very group of people whose duty it is to “protect and defend” us.  We the People have made our voices clear … at least those of us who give a damn have … and if our voices alone aren’t enough, then in the words of the great civil rights leader John Lewis …

26 thoughts on “Dirty Racist Cops … Again

    • The gun culture in this country, whether in the hands of cops or supposedly well-meaning citizens, is as lethal for the people of this nation as is COVID. Seriously, already this year, nearly 13,000 lives have been lost to guns. And the police have, for years, been given a free pass. I think that is about to end with the Chauvin trial. If it doesn’t, there will be blood shed in the streets here next week … and that is not hyperbole, that is a statement of fact. We the People are tired of it.

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  1. Pingback: Dirty Racist Cops … Again — Filosofa’s Word – Overly Devoted Archivist

  2. I know this has been going on for a very, very long time — but I do think Trump exacerbated and encouraged these type of events. He has left an extremely dirty mark on society that is not going away any time soon.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Oh hell yeah, Trump exacerbated it and even championed it! But … as you say, it was going on … well, think back to Trayvon Martin in 2012, nearly a decade ago. I could rattle off a dozen or more names that I’ve cried for since then. But today is a new day … the former guy is gone (hopefully forever), we have brains and empathy in the White House once again, and if we don’t act now, we never will. The thing that depresses me, though … is why should we need legislation to force us to treat everyone equally? Why is it … why do some honestly believe that those with white skin are better? WHAT THE HELL gives them the right to believe that crappola??? Sigh.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. There was a study many years ago that said that psychologically, cops and crooks are quite similar. In the South, that’s complicated by the hillbilly or white trash component. Unfortunately, the problem starts at the top in most departments. The leadership determines the qualities they look for in whom they hire. If the chief is an ignorant rube, the department will reflect that.

    Liked by 3 people

    • That’s interesting … I hadn’t heard of that study but will go in search of it soon. You’re quite right that the problem does start at the top in most departments … for if the officers felt they would get in trouble for their actions, they would likely think twice before jerking a Black man out of a car or kneeling on his neck for nearly 10 full minutes.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I cannot but say that given the images before me, these officers should be off the force the same day, after a meeting to review their behaviour. They should lose pension rights and should face trial for their assault upon a law-abiding member of the public and after being found guilty should serve a sentence in a normal prison where they may face others who they have mistreated in the past. Can I be any clearer, this cannot be tolerated otherwise blood really will run in the streets and for a change, it might be police blood.Defunding the police seems to be a term that has people running scared. It is not taking money from the police, just making them use it to employ some people more able to deal with difficult situations, social workers, mental health professionals, etc. They could be the difference between another killing and the successful de-escalation of a situation.
    Cwtch

    Liked by 3 people

    • I fully agree with you, but thus far, no disciplinary action of any sort has been taken against the officers. Like John, I would have expected all police around the country to be taking pains not to engage in any sort of racist action with the trial of Derek Chauvin taking place these past two weeks, but obviously I’d have been wrong. Yes, “defunding” the police is the wrong term and has caused many to be up in arms simply because it does sound as if we’re saying police departments should be disbanded. I wish somebody had come up with better terminology for it. Something must be done … my hope is that Chauvin gets about a 20-year sentence that will send the message loud and clear that we’re not going to put up with this anymore. But, I’m not holding my breath on that one.
      Cwtch

      Liked by 1 person

    • Why would they lay low? It’s not as if they believe they are doing anything wrong. They may not be consciously racist. This is just who they are.

      It’s not just the police. Much of the community is involved. That’s why it is “systemic racism”. It is system wide.

      The Churches should be taking the leadership to solve this problem. But they won’t. They are themselve a huge part of the problem.

      Liked by 3 people

      • All you say is right, of course … it IS just who they are, but can’t there be psychological screening as a condition of employment in law enforcement? That could weed out the majority of those who are born and bred in the believe that white skin is preferable and people of colour are inherently criminals.

        The churches are actually a big part of the problem, as many of them promote bigotry in many forms. Sigh.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Jill, as the military leadership just reported last week, they still have a number of white supremacists left in their ranks, but they have done a better job of screening them. Sadly, these retiring military are being recruited by white supremacists groups as well, again per military leadership. Any group will have some folks who do not uphold the standards of said group. Police officers have a hard job, putting their lives at risk, especially in such a well armed nation of citizens that has more guns than people. With that said, to say police officers do not make mistakes is simply not true. And, sadly, to say no police officers are white supremacist is not true. As with the Catholic Church failing to heed the key message regrading their priests who did pedophilia, if you do not govern yourself and remedy poor actions or actors, you indict the whole bunch. Police management and unions must step up and better govern themselves. Keith

    Liked by 4 people

    • The Edmonton Police Union is trying to defend officers who shot and killed citizens they were sworn to protect. In two separate incidents, one involving a pre-teen boy, 911 was called for help to calm mental health patients having breakdowns. Rather than sending health professionals, they sent the police which only made everything worse. In both cases the police shot the victims to death, right in front of parents and family members pleading to save their loved ones lives. This was not even about colour or race, it was just fucking irresponsibility and fear of the unknown.
      The union says they were within their rights to act with deadly force. How they can even suggest that I do not know. Nor do they want social workers or mental health professionals to come to such calls with them, because the professionals might get in the line of fire. They just don’t get it. Just the idea of defunding the police and using that money to help save lives has them in a tizzy. They say they need more to get better weapons.
      They need to be all kicked out, including the trainers, and start over with psychological testing before they even get into the police academy, and regular testing through their training and their careers.
      Just by-the-bye, the Canadian Armed Forces still has mainly white supremacist warriors in it, not to mention a bunch of male chauvinist pigs.
      Chauvin better get a life sentence in Minneapolis. He murdered George Floyd in the commission of a hate crime. Anything lesser will enforce the idea police are untouchable.

      Liked by 5 people

    • So true … and I can forgive a mistake, but when an officer has been caught time and time again using excessive force, notably against people of colour, and the department does nothing, such as in the case of Derek Chauvin, then that I cannot forgive. Police DO have a tough job, made even tougher by our lax gun laws, but they also need to have a reputation of being trustworthy. Frankly, I’ve lost trust in the police in general, mainly because of a few bad apples.

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  6. Horrible! Definitely, like a part form a very sick movie. We only have to be grateful about the cameras. But at least it still works in such a way, that you still have such camera recordings. I honestly have to admit that I would have some doubts here with us. In our country the Federal Minister of the Interior refuses to conduct a study on racism among the police. This does not even inspire the police leadership. Michael

    Liked by 3 people

    • I agree … it does remind me of something we might see in a movie, but this sort of thing happens nearly every day somewhere in this country. I didn’t realize that you had the same sort of problem in Germany … or anywhere in Europe, for that matter … but it makes sense, because people are pretty much the same everywhere. The sad thing is that people … most people anyway … no longer trust the police. I certainly don’t.

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  7. It is a rare thing here to have police stop you guns blazing or even ask you to get out of your car when you have not committed an offence. This is not to say we don’t have cases of overhandedness by police, we do & sometimes these turn out deadly.

    Liked by 2 people

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