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02 August 2010

Comments

Drew

Thanks for this follow-up. What a tragic injustice in many ways. The interpretive concepts of "bearing witness" really do have significance in this situation.

Fred

What in the world? This is the first time hearing this. It's insane. Was a police car chase really necessary? It's not like he just robbed a bank. Good grief.........

I read Palm Springs is doing something similar but the difference is anyone caught doing any public lewdness will be registered as a sex offender. It's all getting out of hand.....

Cocoa Rican

What most disappoints me about the Gaymon tragedy is that folks have tossed around certain details as though they are fact, when there is no corroborated evidence of the same. For example:

Where is the irrefutable evidence that Gaymon was in the park that evening to solicit sex?

Where are the previously reported men he may have engaged in “down low” behavior while either at home in Georgia or any other locale he visited while away?

Why did an officer trained to subdue a violent offender AND on a detail that included entrapping men seeking sex with other men, react so fatally/violently when Gaymon allegedly became aggressive?

Just as officers are trained to discontinue an active pursuit when the threat to human life is present, why did the officer choose to use lethal force to subdue Gaymon?

Outside of the allegation that Gaymon was masturbating and had his penis in hand, what other life threatening weapon did the officer encounter that prompted his need to brandish his gun?

With the high incidence of violent crime in the area where the tragedy took place, why is the Essex County Police focused on capturing men who engage in consentual sex in an enclosed park, rather than seeking to tackle the assault, robbery and drug statistics for that county?

A man is dead; a family is shattered and we have no proof for any of the allegations being made – by the officer or the media. The truth is that had Mr. Gaymon been given the opportunity of due process, he would have entered a courtroom, an innocent man with the state’s preponderance to prove him guilty.

As men of color and as gay men we should be compassionate and empathetic enough to stop retelling the story as one of a “down-low” man who cornered, panicked and risked his life to avoid a misdemeanor charge that would likely NOT have resulted in his friends, family or colleagues being privy to his plight.

There are two sides to every story and unfortunately, Gaymon’s version of the truth will never be heard.

Derrick from Philly

Very well written comment, Cocoa. The cop's story just doesn't make sense. It's not believable.

Smith

I do truly wonder WHY the police officer felt a need to shoot the victim. But I DON'T wonder WHY the victim was in the park. Because I feel pretty confident I already know.

Jim

Yes, Cocoa Rican. That was a very well-written comment. (Are you a lawyer?)

I think most of us here feel that it is likely that Gaymon was in the park for sex, just because we know from experience that is probably why a man would be there at nighttime. And if it is true he was there for sex, then he was probably (but not necessarily) closeted, since he had a wife and four children. And since he had a high-paying job with high status, and since he could have lost both with exposure, we can imagine how he might have panicked.

But none of us knows any of that, and I hope we all admit to it. All the same, we can’t help being especially saddened by the tragedy of the scenario we draw in our minds. It is the tragedy of the closet.

As for the cop’s story, though, I have no reason to believe it, and your questions about the cop’s behavior are very good ones.

The comments to this entry are closed.

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