Monday, July 26, 2010

Shooter IDed in Newark Cruising Spot Death
Mayor Still Silent

The online news site Montclair Patch today identified the sheriff's deputy who was working an undercover sex sting operation in Branch Brook Park back in Newark, NJ:

An unidentified law enforcement official as well as a Web site have identified the man who shot and killed DeFarra "Dean" Gaymon [...] as Essex County Sheriff's Officer Edward Esposito.

The law enforcement official's name cannot be used because he is not authorized to speak on the record about the case. Esposito's name is also cited on the Newark Anti-Violence Coalition's Facebook page as the officer who shot and killed Gaymon on Friday, July 16, shortly after 6 p.m. [...]

Esposito is believed to have tussled with and killed Gaymon in Branch Brook Park in Newark after coming upon Gaymon as he was engaged in a public sex act and after Gaymon allegedly tried to solicit sex from the officer. The officer said that Gaymon made threats against the officer's life.

The shooting has sparked outrage from Gaymon's family members in Suwanee, Georgia, about 30 miles outside Atlanta, who have vehemently denied the allegations that Gaymon was involved in illicit sex in the park. [...]

Esposito, who is 29 and an eight-year veteran of the sheriff's department, was honored at the end of National Police Week in May by the Essex County Sheriff's Department along with other officers and civilians for going above and beyond the call of duty last year. [...]

Let us send much praise and thanks to Montclair Patch editor Shelley Emling for really working to nail this story. Her work has generated additional coverage naming the shooter in the corporate media across northern New Jersey. Click here for the Newark Anti Violence Coalition Facebook page.

From New York City, veteran gay community advocate Bill Dobb offers up key analysis about this story and where the investigation should come from:

This is an important development. It is outrageous that the Essex County Sheriff and Prosecutor still refuse to identify the officer who shot DeFarra ‘Dean’ Gaymon and caused his death.

The public’s right to know has been seriously compromised which is a reason the investigation into Gaymon’s killing should be done by the New Jersey Attorney General rather than locals.

Kudos to Montclair Patch for this story which will help in understanding what happened in Branch Brook Park on July 16th, how an unarmed man ended up dead.

And still, no tweets and no news releases from Newark Mayor Cory Booker.

Click here to read the article from South Carolina's The State newspaper, about Gaymon's death, his parents who live there, and the arrangements they were making for their son's tragic demise.

If you're emotionally up to it, click here to read the family's obituary on Gaymon, and the 60 messages left on the site his many friends and acquaintances, and his loving family members.

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