ISLE OF WIGHT Co., Va. - Days after calling for the chief of police for the Windsor Police Department to step down, the Isle of Wight NAACP has submitted a letter to town officials outlining their reasons demanding the resignation.
The NAACP called for Chief Rodney “Dan” Riddle's resignation after he answered questions Wednesday about the viral December traffic stop of Army Lt. Caron Nazario. Members of the group said they were "appalled" at comments Riddle and other town officials made during the conference.
In Friday's letter, group members said Riddle "has been complicit in this entire situation."
In video of the traffic stop, which has garnered national attention, Nazario is shown being pepper-sprayed and threatened. The Windsor Police officers involved in the incident were Joe Gutierrez and Daniel Crocker.
Nazario is now suing the officers over the traffic stop, during which the officers drew their guns, pointed them at him and used a slang term to suggest he was facing execution, according to the lawsuit.
The group is also calling for Crocker's resignation. Gutierrez was fired as a result of the incident.
In the letter, the IOW NAACP goes on to say Riddle "admitted the only reason he terminated Officer Gutierrez was due to the video going viral," leading the community "to wonder if any disciplinary actions were taken against the officers on January 28, 2021, as originally stated by the Chief of Police."
The group accuses Riddle of showing favoritism by making his personal ties to Crocker, whom Riddle said he has known since Crocker was a teenager, known.
“One of the things in watching [the video] is watching Crocker. He made an effort to verbally deescalate that incident," the chief said during Wednesday's press conference.
NAACP leaders say they, along with other African American leaders, have tried to reach out to the Town of Windsor and the police department in the days since the video went viral but received no response.
Click here to read the group's full letter to town officials.