The Nazario lawsuit refers to a lawsuit filed by Second Lieutenant Caron Nazario, a Black and Latino U.S. Army officer, against two Virginia police officers in December 2020. The lawsuit alleges that Nazario’s civil rights were violated when the officers stopped him and pepper-sprayed him during a traffic stop. Nazario was driving in his new car with a temporary license plate that was taped to the back window when he was stopped by police officers in the town of Windsor. The officers demanded that Nazario exit his vehicle, but he refused because he was afraid for his safety. The officers then used pepper spray on Nazario and forcibly removed him from his vehicle. The incident was captured on bodycam footage and has since gone viral.
In the lawsuit, Nazario claims that the officers violated his constitutional rights, used excessive force, conducted an unreasonable search and seizure, and engaged in racial profiling. The lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages, as well as changes to the police department’s policies and training.
The incident has sparked widespread outrage and renewed calls for police reform. It also comes amid a national conversation about police violence and systemic racism in law enforcement, particularly in their interactions with Black and Latino individuals. The outcome of the lawsuit may have significant implications for police accountability and the use of force by law enforcement officers.