A white security guard is now facing charges for pointing his gun at a fully uniformed Ohio sheriff’s deputy and yes, the deputy is Black.
Lucas County Sheriff’s Deputy Alan Gaston walked into a Toledo IRS office on May 31 to inquire about a letter he received. Surveillance video showed him in full uniform with his gun and badge clearly visible. Before Gaston could talk to someone, he was confronted by Seth Eklund, an armed security guard who told him that he could not enter the office with a gun and urged him to place it in his car. Gaston declined because he was still on duty and decided to leave the premises instead. But as he walked out, Eklund followed him with his gun drawn.
“[I was] basically preparing myself to be shot at that moment. Bracing for a shot in my back,” Gaston said. “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.”
As Gaston was attempting to enter the elevator to leave the building, Eklund can be seen trying to grab his arm to take him into custody. Seeing the commotion, a worker in the office called 911 and told the operator that someone had a gun, but failed to mention that the armed person was a sheriff’s deputy. When several Toledo police officers responded to the scene, Eklund could be heard saying, “he’s got a gun and he won’t leave.”
“I would say his training is lagging,” Gaston said. “You went from zero to 100, lethal force. It’s unacceptable.”
Eklund was charged with aggravated menacing and plead not guilty last week and will be scheduled for a future court date. According to CBS 13, Gaston, who has been on medical leave, filed a lawsuit against the disgraced security guard claiming he suffered emotional and psychological distress as a result of the incident.
Watch the video below.
This ordeal brings up countless incidents around the country where Black police officers have faced racism either among their peers. A Black St. Louis officer has been struggling to feed his family after being shot by a white colleague in 2017 and having to retire because of his injuries. In June, a Black Detroit officer had a gun pointed at him at a facility to provide cops with diversity training after a white colleague questioned why he had so much money on him.