An undercover officer shot and killed an Atlanta man Friday after he propositioned the officer in a gay pick-up area and became combative.
48-year-old DeFarra Gaymon was fatally shot in the chest in Newark’s Branch Brook Park after a plainclothes officer reported that the man approached him while masturbating.
The unidentified officer says when he pulled out his badge and told Gaymon he was under arrest; he shoved the officer to the ground, ran and threatened to kill him if he approached.
Essex County Prosecutor Robert D. Laurino says that the CEO of Credit Union of Atlanta was combative to the officer who had returned to the park to retrieve handcuffs he dropped during a previous arrest.
He tells the Wall Street Journal,
“Mr. Gaymon reached into his pocket and lunged at the officer in an attempt to disarm the officer. The officer, “fearing for his life, shot Mr. Gaymon once, and he died at the hospital three hours later.”
Mr. Laurino’s statement was based on an account given by the officer to investigators.
The officer was not interviewed about the case until Monday because authorities report that he was being treated for trauma.
The family of Gaymon has released a statement saying,
“We know that the police killed an innocent man, with no history of or disposition towards violence.”