White police officer arrested for killing a black man in self defense
A white police officer in Montgomery, Ala., was arrested on March 3 for suspicion of murdering a black man. Defense attorneys say Officer Aaron Smith was working alone in a high crime area, and that the man he shot, Gregory Gunn, had fled. (AP)
A white police officer was arrested Wednesday for the killing of a black man last week in Alabama.
Montgomery police officer Aaron Smith was arrested on suspicion of murder for the Feb. 25 slaying of Gregory Gunn. The 58-year-old grocer was walking home from a late-night card game when he was shot several times by the 23-year-old officer.
The officer’s arrest follows several days of protests, including demands from politicians and Gunn’s family that Smith be arrested.
“I know he was racially profiled,” Franklin Gunn, Greg’s younger brother, told The Washington Post on Tuesday. “They thought he was a low-life nothing, walking the street. They didn’t see a man. They didn’t see a black man. They saw somebody who needed to die, and they executed him.”
Smith stopped Gunn and began a routine search when Gunn “broke and ran, and Officer Smith gave chase,” the attorney told the newspaper. The two then fought, with Smith using his Taser on Gunn six times and hitting Gunn with his baton, McDermott said.
“After all of that, Mr. Gunn picked up a weapon and turned towards [Smith],” the attorney claimed. “He had no choice at that point but to use his firearm to protect himself.”