An Alabama cop, Officer Aaron Smith has been slapped with a murder charged for beating and shooting Greg Gunn, an unarmed Black man.
On Friday, an Alabama grand jury indicted Montgomery Police Officer Aaron Smith on murder charges for the fatal shooting of Greg Gunn, who was killed just a few yards from his front door, The Grio states.
Smith stopped Gunn while he was walking through his own neighborhood, and friends said that Gunn was returning home after a weekly card game with his mother. Smith’s lawyer Mickey McDermott claimed that Smith stopped him because he looked suspicious.
During the incident, Gunn was hit with a stun gun three times, beaten with a baton, and shot five times. However, McDermott and Smith have maintained that Smith acted properly in his use of force.
“It was Mr. Gunn’s actions that resulted in his death,” McDermott insisted, later calling the decision to call Smith the result of “emotion and politics.”
Court of Criminal Appeals denies MPD Officer Aaron Smith’s petition for bond reduction -> https://t.co/1JbCVT6PUn pic.twitter.com/q93iTrLtsz
— WSFA 12 News (@wsfa12news) June 21, 2016
The incident was not captured on camera, as the white Alabama cop did not activate his patrol lights. Cameras automatically begin recording in police cars when patrol lights are switched on.
The Smith’s lawyer Mickey McDermott maintained Friday that Smith acted appropriately after Greg Gunn ran, fought back and then swung some sort of object at the officer, according to Mail Online.
Friends said Gunn was walking home from his weekly card game to the house he shared with his mother.
Montgomery County District Attorney Daryl Bailey announced the indictment in a press statement Friday.
Prosecutors had charged Smith with murder shortly after the shooting, and a judge sent the case to a grand jury.
A state investigator testified in a March hearing that Smith had given conflicting stories about what happened before he shot Gunn.
‘It was Mr. Gunn’s actions that resulted in his death,‘ McDermott said.
McDermott said he believed Smith was charged because of ’emotion and politics’.
A lawyer representing Gunn’s family could not immediately be reached for comment.
Smith’s attorney, Mickey McDermott, said they continue to believe that Smith is innocent, AL.com reports.”We intend to vigorously defend his rights,” he said. “We believe that he acted within the line and scope of his duty, his training, and within the law.”
“We look forward to defending him in front of a jury and myself and my co-counsel, Ms. Roianne Conner and I believe in officer Smith, as do many in the law enforcement community and the river region as well,” McDermott said.
McDermott told AL.com on Friday that the Alabama cop did testify before the grand jury to tell his side of the shooting.
Officer Aaron Smith pictures,shooting of black man Greg Gunn https://t.co/5ZYNspVWh7 pic.twitter.com/hhNt7ZQD4q
— China News (@ChinaNews86) November 19, 2016
Montgomery County District Attorney Daryl Bailey issued a statement after Friday’s indictment.
A State Bureau of Investigation agent, magistrate, District Court Judge and now a Grand Jury have all determined probable cause that Smith should be charged with murder, Bailey stated. “A jury will determine his guilt or innocence,” he stated.
“I want to be clear, that the indictment issued today is not an indictment against the Montgomery Police Department or any other law enforcement agency,” Bailey stated. “The Montgomery Police Department and the City of Montgomery cooperated fully with the State Bureau of Investigation and the District Attorney’s Office during the course of this investigation. The Montgomery Police Department is made up of men and women that everyday protect our community in a lawful and professional manner. They are truly the thin blue line between a peaceful community and anarchy.”
A state investigator testified at the preliminary hearing that Smith told them two versions of what happened that night. In one version Smith told investigators that during the confrontation Gunn picked up a long pole used for a paint roller and swung it at him.
In the other version Smith wasn’t sure if Gunn had swung a pole at him, the investigator stated. The pole also did not have Gunn’s fingerprints on it, the investigator testified.
Greg Gunn was still clutching a black baseball cap in one hand when investigators arrived at the scene. A paint roller was off to one side.
In the version of events described in the family’s lawsuit, Gunn was walking home from a neighbor’s house after having played cards when he encountered Smith. Gunn had gone to the neighbor’s house after getting off from work at the grocery store.
The lawsuit states that Gunn was unarmed at the time of the incident and that Smith had no reason to stop and talk to him.
“All the credible information to date shows that Mr Gunn was unarmed, did not use any object as a weapon, and did not have any object to use as a weapon, at any time from the start of his attempted walk home through his being fatally shot by Officer Smith,” according to a claim the family made to the city.
Gunn was college-educated and had lived his entire life as a resident of the Mobile Heights neighborhood. He was walking to the home he still shared with his elderly mother, according to the lawsuit.
“Mr. Gunn was well-known in his community and his neighborhood,” the lawsuit states. “He not only provided financial support to his mother, he also had a reputation for helping others in the community by cutting grass and doing other tasks. Mr. Gunn’s father had been one of the first African-Americans hired as a police officer by the City of Montgomery, a position in which he served for years.“
Law enforcement continues to roll out their agenda of ‘Black assassination.’ How on earth can such a police officer be defended? After beating an unarmed Black man with a baton without provocation, he went ahead to shoot him seven times. There is no doubt this cop was on a murder mission.