The Background of Joe Gutierrez
Mr. Gutierrez had been with the Windsor Police Department in Virginia for a bit before being fired this weekend when him and another Officer, Daniel Crocker, 24, stopped a man allegedly accused for eluding police on the night of December 15th, 2020. After being pulled over by the two officers, they both approached with guns drawn and shouting demands which could barely be heard by U.S. Army Second Lieutenant Caron Nazario, an African-Hispanic male.
As the body cam footage continues, Officer Crocker is heard radioing dispatch that he attempting to pull over an unknown subject for traffic violation(s), conflicting what was told to investigators that he was eluding police. According to a lawsuit filed earlier this month by Mr. Nazario, he named Mr. Gutierrez and Officer Crocker as Defendants accusing them of use of excessive force.
As Officers had their guns drawn, Mr. Nazario was “honestly afraid of getting out of the car” to which Mr. Gutierrez retorted, “Yes, you should be!”. The body cam footage shows both Officers approaching Mr. Nazario while referencing a quote from the movie Green Mile that insinuated “execution”, pepper spraying him and then violently knocking him to the ground.
The lawsuit further states that after Mr. Nazario was stopped at the gas station pumping area that his temporary license plate was clearly visible in his rear window of his SUV.
Back to the original incident that upset many viewers, Mr. Gutierrez tells Mr. Nazario, he was “fixin’ to ride the lightning,” a reference from the movie The Green Mile, which is about a black man facing the death penalty.
“This is a pop culture reference for execution by electric chair,” the suit alleges. During the melee, Mr. Nazario is heard repeatedly stating he wanted to speak with a supervisor, which is normal procedure used to de-escalate a situation for better transparency of lower ranking officers.
In the statement, officials said Gutierrez was fired after it was deemed he’d failed to follow Windsor Police Department’s procedural policy. “The pursuit and ultimate stop resulted in the use of pepper spray against U.S. Army 1st Lt. Nazario by Officer Gutierrez. As a result of this use of force, Department policy requires an internal investigation to determine the appropriateness of such actions,” the statement began.
“At the conclusion of this investigation, it was determined that Windsor Police Department policy was not followed. This resulted in disciplinary action … Since that time, Officer Gutierrez was also terminated from his employment.”