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Windsor, Virginia Reaches Settlement Over Controversial Traffic Stop Of Black & Latino Army Officer

The police department of Windsor, Virginia reached a settlement to resolve a lawsuit brought by the state's attorney general after a nationwide controversy over a 2020 traffic stop of Black and Latino Army Officer Caron Nazario.

Windsor was sued in 2021 by then Virginia Attorney General Mark R. Herring, who alleged that its police force discriminated against Black people and violated their civil rights. Herring's office had previously revealed that 42 percent of traffic stops conducted by Windsor's police force over 14 months involved Black drivers, significantly higher than expected based on the town's racial demographics.

This includes Nazario who was stopped at gunpoint and pepper-sprayed by police. Officer Joe Gutierrez, one of the officers in the video, was fired from the Windsor police force, while the other officer, Daniel Crocker, remains employed in Windsor. Nazario initially sued the officers for 1 million dollars in damages but a jury awarded him less than $4,000 and is currently pending appeal.

Under the settlement terms, the Windsor Police Department did not admit wrongdoing but agreed to pursue accreditation from a professional standards commission. Additionally, any complaints related to use-of-force incidents will be reviewed by a state prosecutor and forwarded to the attorney general's office.


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