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Sun Apr 18, 2021, 10:31 PM

Armed Racism Keeps No One Safe

APRIL 16, 2021
“Get out of the car! Get out of the car now!!”

The officer — the mad man with a badge — probably shouts those words 50 times at the driver, Second Lt. Caron Nazario, at a gas station in Windsor, Va., all the while holding a gun a foot from his face. Nazario, who is black and Latino, had just been pulled over for not having a rear license plate (he did have one but, you know, we all make mistakes) and . . . fasten your seatbelts! . . . driving with tinted windows. Of course the cops had their guns drawn.

The incident happened last December, but the crazy video has only recently been made public. While it did not, thank God, culminate in a shooting — beyond the use of pepper spray — the video reveals an oh, so typical American scenario: a person of color suddenly caught, for no sane reason, in a life-threatening situation at the hands of someone whose job is to keep Americans safe.

In this case the man whose life is in danger reacts with utter calmness throughout the encounter. “What’s going on?” he asks, over and over, as the armed crazy guy screams at him. “Can you please relax?” he begs of the cop. “Can you please relax?”

The raw truth is this: Policing is, far too often, just another form of criminality.


This excruciating footage — Nazario ends up being pepper-sprayed, pulled from his car, kneed viciously, shoved to the pavement and handcuffed — could not define contemporary America more clearly: Racism remains embedded in its social infrastructure. Much of the country is “protected” by an occupying army.

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