By Associated Press - Friday, April 30, 2021

ETTRICK, Va. (AP) - Dozens of demonstrators marched at Virginia State University on Thursday in support of a graduate who was dressed in his Army uniform when police officers pepper sprayed him during an encounter captured on body camera video.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that several dozen people participated in the campus march supporting U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Caron Nazario, who is Black and Latino.

Nazario is suing two police officers in the town of Windsor, Virginia, over a traffic stop at a gas station last December. Body camera video captured the officers drawing their guns, pointing them at Nazario and using a slang term to suggest he was facing execution before pepper-spraying him and knocking him to the ground.

Nazario raised his hands in the air outside his driver’s side window as he told the armed officers, “I’m honestly afraid to get out.”

“Yeah, you should be!” one of the officers responded.

Gov. Ralph Northam called for Virginia State Police to investigate the encounter after the video spread on social media.

During Thursday’s march, demonstrators chanted “Together we stand, divided we fall” and “Black lives matter.”

“When we’re united, we’re victorious, and I think that’s the most important thing,” an activist, Brandon Randleman, told the crowd after the march.

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