Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Was a ’Straight’ Man Killed by Police in Newark, NJ, Park Cruising for Sex?

"A married businessman in town for a class reunion allegedly approached a police officer in a Newark, New Jersey, park, and propositioned him for sex... the officer attempted to arrest him, the man threw the officer to the ground and took off. When the officer caught up with him, the suspect reportedly tried to attack the officer, who shot him down; three hours later, the suspect died in a local hospital, according to a July 20 New York Times article. The suspect in the case was DeFarra (Dean) Gaymon [pictured], 48, a father of four and CEO of the Credit Union of Atlanta. The park in question was Branch Brook Park, a well-known gay cruising ground," reports Kilian Melloy. READ MORE

ACLU, gay rights groups call for 'thorough' investigation into fatal shooting of Atlanta CEO
The American Civil Liberties Union joined gay rights groups and civic and religious leaders today in calling for a thorough — and independent — investigation into the shooting death of Atlanta CEO DeFarra Gaymon by an Essex County sheriff’s officer.

"What we have here is a situation where an unarmed citizen ends up dead as a result of what would have been a minor crime," said Deborah Jacobs, executive director for the ACLU-NJ. "Considering the seriousness of the incident and many unanswered questions, this investigation demands the legitimacy that only an external review can provide."

The ACLU and Garden State Equality, the state’s leading gay rights organization, filed requests with Essex County law enforcement officials asking for specific documents relating to the shooting last Friday evening of Gaymon during a sweep of alleged homosexual activity in Newark’s Branch Brook Park.

"We make no assumption as to the sexual orientation of the victim. Nor do we condone lewdness, but any sting operation targeting gay men or LGBT people specifically, or anyone perceived as such, is unconscionable — and as we strongly believe, illegal," Steven Goldstein, chair of Garden State Equality, said in a letter to Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert Laurino. The Garden State Equality letter also seeks information on some 200 arrests for public sexual displays authorities said have made in the park since 2005. READ MORE