A Black police officer in Ohio who had a gun drawn on him by a security during a visit to an IRS office is suing for emotional pain and suffering.
Lucas County Sheriff’s Deputy Alan Gaston — who was in full uniform — feared being shot when the guard tried to arrest him for carrying a gun.
Gaston had stopped by a local IRS office on May 31 to ask about a letter he received. When the guard, identified as Seth Eklund, asked Gaston to leave his gun in his car, the officer informed him that he couldn’t do that. That’s when Eklund drew his weapon and Gaston left the office, according to a local ABC News affiliate.
“[I was] basically preparing myself to be shot at that moment. Bracing for a shot in my back,” Gaston told the news station.
Eklund can be seen on tape following Gaston into the hallway with his gun drawn trying to take him 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, who had braced for a shot in the back.
Gaston, who works with the police department as a defensive tactics instructor, said he kept trying to de-escalate the situation by walking away. He added that while he was concerned for his own safety, he was also worried about the other people in the building.
The guard, who followed Gaston to the elevator in his attempt to make the arrest, faced a charge of aggravated menacing.
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.”