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Black Soldier Mistreatment Common Even Before Virginia Case

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FILE - In this Dec. 5, 2020, file frame from Windsor, Va., police body camera, Lt. Caron Nazario is helped by an EMT after he was pepper-sprayed by Windsor police during a traffic stop in Windsor. The episode was a grim reminder to many Black Americans that even being in military uniform doesn’t necessarily protect them from mistreatment by police. (Windsor Police via AP, File)

(AP) — Videos of a Black and Latino Army lieutenant who was pepper-sprayed and handcuffed during a traffic stop in rural Virginia have been viewed millions of times. The episode was a grim reminder to many Black Americans that even being in military uniform doesn’t necessarily protect them from mistreatment by police. There’s also a long history of violence against veterans and service members of color because their military status was seen by some as a provocation. Bryan Stevenson is executive director of the Alabama-based Equal Justice Initiative. He says the uniform doesn’t provoke in the same way it once did. But, he adds, it “absolutely doesn’t shield” from mistreatment.

 

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