By Stephen A. Crocket Jr, The Root
An Ohio police officer in full uniform, you know, the uniform that clearly identifies him as a police officer and as such gives him reason to have a radio, taser, and gun, faced some scary and tense moments when a security guard pulled a gun on him and tried to arrest the POLICE OFFICER for carrying a gun.
According to ABC 13, Lucas County Sheriff’s deputy Alan Gaston stopped by a local IRS office on May 31 to ask a question about a letter he received. I don’t know if I mentioned this earlier but Gaston was in full uniform including his police badge and belt and his police-issued holster that housed his police-issued gun.
Gaston was on duty and trying to get a phone number when he came very close to losing his life. See, this is America and Gaston is a Black man.
That’s the crime.
Didn’t matter that he was in a police uniform. How did the guard Seth Eklund aka “Paul Blart” know that Gaston hadn’t stolen it? How was Blart to know that Gaston was an actual officer? Sure he was wearing an officer’s uniform but don’t they sell those around Halloween? And yes he had a badge, but was that an official police badge?
Gaston told ABC 13 that Blart asked him to leave his gun in his car and Gaston informed the fake cop that as a real cop he can’t do that. That’s when Blart drew his weapon and the conversation ended. Gaston left the office.
“Basically preparing myself to be shot at that moment. Bracing for a shot in my back,” Gaston told the news station.
Luckily for Gaston, the entire debacle was caught on tape. Blart can be seen following the actual cop into the hallway with his gun drawn trying to take Gaston into custody.
“There’s really no way to know how you’re going to act when there’s a gun pointed at you and when you think you’re going to lose your life,” said Gaston.
Gaston, who works with the police department as a defensive tactics instructor, says that he kept trying to de-escalate the situation by walking away.
And here is where this already bizarre case takes an even more bizarre turn. Someone called the police and said that there is a man with a gun that he won’t relinquish but conveniently forgot to mention that the man with the gun is a uniformed deputy sheriff!
Gaston told the news station that while he was concerned for his own safety he was also worried about the other people in the building who may be hit if this crazed fake cop began firing.
“If I’m going to get shot, like I thought I was, it’s not fair. [Civilians] came in there to do their business,” said Gaston.
Gaston and his wife have filed a civil lawsuit against Eklund “and the security company seeking compensation after Gaston allegedly suffered emotional and psychological distress and lost wages.”
“I would say ‘Clearly your training is lacking and the fact that you went 0 to 100. Lethal force is unacceptable,” said Gaston who is currently on medical leave from his job as an actual cop.
Eklund is facing one charge of aggravated menacing and is set to be in court next week.
Watch the horrific incident below.
This article originally appeared in The Root.