Virginia State University responds to treatment of alumnus Lt. Caron Nazario by police

Virginia News

ETTRICK, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia State University President Makola M. Abdullah spoke to WFXR’s sister station on Monday following the traffic stop of Lt. Caron Nazario in Windsor.

A video shows Nazario — a VSU alumnus — being stopped by two officers, having guns pulled on him, being pepper-sprayed in the face, and ending up thrown to the ground.

Nazario graduated from the university in 2016.

Abdullah says that regardless of whether or not Nazario is an alumnus, he is demanding justice.

“Whether he was wearing a military uniform or plain clothes, whether he was a VSU graduate or not or whether he was a member of the Army or not. That he didn’t deserve what happened to him, and we want to make sure that he is ok and that he gets the justice that he and his family wants, needs and demands,” Abdullah said.

While at VSU, Nazario was an ROTC cadet. The Administrative Program Specialist for ROTC, Freda Thomas, tells our sister-station WRIC that she is proud of Nazario and that he is “very very very nice and well-mannered in every way.”

She says while he was at VSU, she loved his character and he had a “very sweet demeanor.”

Thomas was shocked when she saw the video.

“I was shocked, I was really shocked,” Thomas said. “… I was a lot upset about how things went and I just couldn’t believe what had happened to one of ours.”

The recording of the incident left Thomas questioning, “why?”

She says she thought Nazario “did everything that he was supposed to do,” expressing that if she had been in that situation she would have also pulled over in a more well-lit area.

Thomas says she is disappointed in how officers treated him.

As for what she’d say to Nazario, “Keep your head up, everything is going to be okay. We love you here and we stand behind you.”

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