On CNN Monday, retired Maj. Gen. Dana Pittard, a former ground commander in Iraq, discussed the implications of the violent traffic stop of Afro-Latino Army Lt. Caron Nazario in Windsor, Virginia in December, an incident that has resulted in one officer being fired and a federal civil rights lawsuit.
"I have to ask you, for someone who served," said anchor Poppy Harlow. "You lived in Suffolk, miles away from where this happened. You know the area well, the culture very well. Virginia Governor Ralph Northam is saying he is very disturbed and angered, as anyone waking up to see it is. What did you think as you watched it?"
"First of all, we don't know all the facts and that will come out in time, but what we do know, we saw in the video was absolutely unacceptable," said Pittard. "I used to live in that area and I am from the town of Windsor. That's a route that my family and I used to take to go to North Carolina, through I-95. It's had that reputation. You go slow because it was almost like a speed trap. So I remember that, but this is bothersome on several levels. First of all, as a parent, as a father of two African-American sons 27 and 25, around the age of Lieutenant Nazario."
"When your child gets stopped and you are a person of color, it's not a routine traffic stop," said Pittard. "What we've taught our sons to do is to call somebody. Put on your flashers, your blinkers, slow down, pull over. But if it's not well-lit, try to get to a well-lit place if you can. Follow the instruction of the officers, be polite. In this case, I felt that's what he was trying to do. The one thing he didn't do is when they said, get out of the car, get out of the car, but a confusing situation with the police with their guns drawn on him is very difficult. They didn't tell him, you know, why he is being stopped in the first place."
Ret. Maj. Gen. Dana Pittard discusses violent traffic stop of Lt. Caron Nazario www.youtube.com