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Backlash over Windsor police chief's comments about traffic stop of Army officer

Isle of Wight NAACP President Valerie Butler said Police Chief Rodney Riddle should resign based on his response to the stop of Army Second Lieutenant Caron Nazario.

WINDSOR, Va. — Members of the Isle of Wight NAACP are calling for the Windsor Police Chief, Rodney Riddle, to resign.

“We feel like Chief Riddle was complicit with the traffic stop that actually occurred on December 5th,” said President Valerie Butler, who added that the chief’s statements from his press conference were appalling.

“It was more about the video, not the act that he actually encountered with the officers, ” Butler explained. 

Chief Riddle called the police body camera video, horrible. “It doesn't speak well to the way to the way the police officers handled the situation,” he said. 

Riddle also didn't offer Army Lieutenant Caron Nazario an apology. He said Nazario “took certain actions that created where we got to.”

Nazario’s attorney, Jonathon Arthur, said his client didn't do anything wrong.

“That’s disingenuous. His own officer’s body-worn camera footage demonstrates the disingenuous nature of that statement, ” Arthur said.

Chief Riddle said his issue on the viral traffic stop is not with the use of force, saying his officers acted reasonably given their point of view. However, Riddle did say the police officers missed the opportunity to verbally de-escalate the situation.

“We got work to do. We know we got work to do,” Riddle said.

Butler hopes the chief resigns, and Arthur said he supports that move. 

“It doesn't seem like that man is capable of leading a 21st-century police force that is capable of interacting with all of the American citizens with the respect, and courtesy that they deserve, ” Arthur said.

On Friday, the Isle of Wight NAACP sent a letter to Mayor Glyn Willis and town leaders calling for Chief Riddle's resignation.

"After watching the press conference held by Windsor’s officials on April 14, 2021, we were appalled by the statements and subsequent actions by town officials as well as the Chief of Police," Butler said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Windsor town leaders posted a video on their YouTube channel of Narazio getting stopped by police in November, a month before the controversial stop. Minutes later, they deleted the video because some of Nazario's personal information was in the video. They then reposted it a day later.

13News Now is still waiting to hear why town leaders even posted the interaction and what purpose it serves.

Congressman Bobby Scott sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland asking for a federal investigation into the police conduct and treatment of Nazario.

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