An unfortunate and not very surprising update to the tragic case of DeFarra "Dean" Gaymon, the Credit Union of Atlanta CEO who was fatally shot by an undercover Essex County Sheriff’s officer in a Newark park. New Jersey Attorney General Paula Dow will not investigate the shooting, reports the Star Ledger.
"Last week, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey formally requested Dow open an inquiry into the fatal shooting of DeFarra Gaymon, 48, during a confrontation with the officer in Newark’s Branch Brook Park. The detective was investigating complaints about people engaging in sexual acts in the park. After meeting with her top officials [Wednesday] afternoon, Dow concluded there was 'no indication of a conflict with the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office handling this case fairly and impartially,' said her spokesman, Paul Loriquet. 'That was never called into question.' Afterward, the attorney general called the Acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert Laurino to discuss the decision. The prosecutor’s office will present its investigation to a grand jury, which will take several weeks.
"ACLU-NJ executive director Deborah Jacobs called the decision not to investigate 'a huge missed opportunity. Every law enforcement official knows it’s essential to have an external review when the public fears a coverup,' she said. 'Whether the corruption is a perception or a reality, an external review is the way to address it.'"
Paula Dow was appointed New Jersey Attorney General by incoming Governor Chris Christie in February 2010. She is the first Black female attorney general in New Jersey's history. Dow's previous job before appointment: Essex County Prosecutor from 2003 to 2010.
DeFarra Gaymon was married with four children. On July 16, the banker had driven to New Jersey from his suburban Atlanta home to attend his high school’s 30th reunion, which he had planned. Authorities claimed Gaymon was masturbating in the park when he approached the detective. Officials said there was a chase and the officer fired one shot after the unarmed man "reached in his pocket and lunged" at the officer. There were no witnesses.
Gaymon's family has disputed the official version but has not commented on the sexual angle of the case. The family has asked the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office in Newark to take over the investigation.