Crime | Law Enforcement | Newark | News | Public Sex

CEO Shot to Death by Cop at 'Gay' Cruising Spot in Newark

DeFarra Gaymon, the successful CEO of Credit Union of Atlanta, was shot and killed by a police officer in Newark, New Jersey last week after allegedly propositioning the officer at a cruising area to which he had made a detour on the way to his 30th high school reunion.

Gaymon Details regarding Gaymon's death, mostly from the one-sided perspective of the officer who shot him, are emerging:

On Tuesday, the acting Essex County prosecutor gave the first detailed, public description of what happened in the wooded park that night, saying that the officer, who had tried to arrest Mr. Gaymon, 48, over lewd behavior, fired in self-defense. The prosecutor, Robert D. Laurino, said that Mr. Gaymon assaulted the officer, a 29-year-old member of the Essex County Sheriff’s Department, tried to flee and then, when cornered, attempted to disarm the officer.

The incident, despite whatever your personal opinions are about consensual sex in public places (between men, most of whom do not identify as gay), begs the question of why police budget and resources are being spent to send armed officers to deal with this type of behavior.

Around 6 p.m., after chasing down a man and arresting him, the officer realized he had lost his handcuffs in the pursuit and went back into the woods, alone, to retrieve them, the prosecutor said.

“The plainclothes officer was bending down to retrieve his handcuffs,” Mr. Laurino said, “when he was approached by Mr. Gaymon, who was engaged in a sexual act at the time.” Words were exchanged that the prosecutor said “would lead one to believe that” Mr. Gaymon was propositioning the officer.

“The officer pulled out his badge, identified himself as a police officer and informed Mr. Gaymon that he was under arrest,” Mr. Laurino said. Then, he said, Mr. Gaymon shoved the officer to the ground and ran, ignored the officer’s demands to stop, and repeatedly threatened to kill the officer if he approached. The officer cornered Mr. Gaymon beside a pond and tried to handcuff him, Mr. Laurino said, but again Mr. Gaymon resisted.

“Mr. Gaymon reached into his pocket and lunged at the officer in an attempt to disarm the officer,” Mr. Laurino said. The officer, “fearing for his life,” the prosecutor said, shot Mr. Gaymon once, and he died at the hospital three hours later.

Mr. Laurino’s statement was based on an account given by the officer to investigators. Prosecutors said they knew of no one else who saw what happened, and they asked that any witnesses step forward.

A married father of four is now dead because someone on the Newark police force felt that eradicating this behavior was more of a priority than all of the other problems in that city.

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  1. "Right, Mr Gaymon was completely blameless in this situation. While his death was tragic, engaging in sex at a public rest area at night is not something you do without risk, or should do at all.. If I had four children at home that depended upon me I would hope to be more responsible with my decisions. The real victims here is Mr Gaymon's spouse and children."

    Yes, clearly he deserved the death penalty.

    Posted by: missanthrope | Jul 21, 2010 4:31:02 PM

  2. Yea he has gay face and his pose is queer so he must be gay! Eureka!!! I guess all my straight friends who get mistaken for gay really are gay! Who knows if he was cruising in the park? He took a short cut (supposedly, we still need to wait for more info) on his way to his high school reunion. Why stop in the woods for a quickie with a perfect stranger first? Why not wait til the reunion is over check out craigslist/rentboy/etc then arrange a meet and greet at his hotel or in the park? Some of the comments here are really disheartening. We dont even have all the facts yet. This guy lost his life, his kids lost a father.

    Posted by: lazlo | Jul 21, 2010 4:53:40 PM

  3. The only person who knows what happened is the officer who "feared for his life" and yet somehow managed not to be killed.

    Posted by: DeeVee | Jul 21, 2010 5:06:55 PM

  4. Some made a critique of towleroad. I don't find the website has really changed. Some post I find a bit sensational but I have free will. I can skip it or read it. There are so many sites to peruse. I try not to get to worked up about it.

    Posted by: lazlo | Jul 21, 2010 5:06:55 PM

  5. My God Dave, you sound like my Mom

    Posted by: Clanky Mish | Jul 21, 2010 9:37:45 PM

  6. From the times story it says it happened around 630 pm --that is full day light last Friday in NJ --this wasn;t in the dark. He was on the way to his highschool reunion --class of 1980. I guess he left wifey at home for a reason --
    Before I pass judgment on gaymon (the name with that look is too much--I repeat that look --if the wifey didn’t know he was blowing guys on the side she has rocks in her head. What color is that hair?
    Anyway, how much you want to bet he was a major homohater in real life --black church, banker, southern --if so, and his reaction sounds like a reaction of someone like larry craig --fear of exposure. I am sure he played in bushes only on business trips

    Posted by: captain underpants | Jul 21, 2010 9:41:19 PM

  7. Was the cop white? If yes, then why is anyone surprised he killed a black man and is saying all sorts of things to cover his butt? Not that anything will happen to him, no mater what the evidence shows.

    Seems like a lot of the people commenting on this thread are too willing to believe the shooter, since the dead man can't contradict him. Why do they accept his version of events so readily? Seriously, why? Especially considering how many times cops have been caught lying about what happened between them and someone they arrested or shot or beat the hell out of. Why do you automatically believe the cop?

    Posted by: kyle michel sullivan | Jul 21, 2010 10:10:50 PM

  8. We don't know what happened here. All we have is the cop's word. He may be telling the whole truth, he is probably telling some of the truth, and we definitely will never know. Let's put that aside for the moment. The argument about public sex annoys me because the first thing anyone jumps to is "It's illegal, therefore wrong!" Public sex may or may not be wrong, but the morality of it has nothing to do with legality. Do I really have to remind everyone here that up until 20-30 years ago sodomy was illegal just about everywhere? Do i have to remind you that those laws were almost always only applied to us homosexuals? That the arguments used here against it such as "it's icky!" and "Think of the children!" are the same ones used against us when we try for equality? There are sanitary reasons against public sex, but those reasons apply to all types of sexual contact. Is there an argument about the immorality of public sex that hasn't also been applied to us? Please come up with a better argument. (Also a little personal aside, one of my first exposures to sex was a teen straight couple doing it in the public pool. I was about 10 and I was thrilled. "They are having sex in the pool, right there!" I really don't understand the fuss.)

    Posted by: Lessthan | Jul 22, 2010 12:51:07 AM

  9. Don't have a lot of sympathy for the public sex trolls. Whether you think public sex should be legal or not is irrelevant. It "is" illegal, therefore if you get busted you get charged. Now, if you feel strongly about it, then advocate and change the law,(ex. sodomy, pot etc.) otherwise get a hotel room.

    And whoever said public sex was part of gay culture sounds like an old queen from a far more desperate time. It's over, hon, put down the poppers and step away from the bushes....

    Posted by: Marty | Jul 22, 2010 1:39:30 AM

  10. I do think public sex is grody. I'd rather have sex on my own terms, with my bf/husband, in private.

    But all this bs about straights don't have public sex is bs. Only once have I seen public sex in my neighborhood. Straight (prolly high) couple fucking on a prominent lawn in front of passing traffic, at a major intersection. It pissed me off bc I thought of property values and not wanting that shit in my neighborhood. It was crazy graphic, like you could see the d*ck going in and out, and clearly they intended it.

    I don't know how long they were there. I do know no one called law enforcement. I ended up bravely asking them to leave the area. They did after I (awkwardly) asserted myself in that situation. NO GUNS NECESSARY.

    If straights have public sex, people assume its a thrill and rare, and nothing to patrol. When gays have public sex (which to me is no less disgusting), people go apesh*t because they hate gays that much.

    I agree with the poster who says our goals should include creating a world where it's ok for us to be publicly affectionate. By public affection I don't mean public sex. I mean kissing our partners, holding hands, being the PEOPLE we are and expressing our feelings and sexuality in ways that straights take for granted.

    The popularity of public cruising is one sign that we have a long way to go.

    Oh yeah, the out guys on here who are all about their public sex. You NEED to check out the following link:

    Oh, Dave, stop trashing on Andy. He rocks.

    ANd whoever said that thing about pimply gay guys in their mothers' basements waiting for the next porno release. That's kinda funny shit. Bitter. But funny. :-)

    "Emoticons don't cure anything" - a Dan Savage post summarized :-)

    Posted by: just a guy | Jul 22, 2010 3:08:43 AM

  11. I don't believe the bending down/handcuffs bs or that Gaymon struggled with the cop.

    Certainly, he didn't have to shoot the guy in the chest.

    Posted by: rick | Jul 22, 2010 4:58:38 AM

  12. Scary times in NJ (because of our new anti-gay Governor?)

    Posted by: rick | Jul 22, 2010 5:17:05 AM

  13. This whole event was avoidable. One would think it was taking place 25 years ago, when it was a practice of most police departments to use plainclothes decoys. I do not think it is right for anybody to engage in public sex acts at any time, day or night. However, there is no need for undercover policemen, if signs are posted, and uniform policemen are in sight. The use of deadly force is totally wrong... even if people are engaging in public sex, as well as using "sting" operations. Consenting adults engaging in public sex is unlawful, and those caught should pay the consequences, but not with their lives.

    Posted by: jerry pritikin | Jul 22, 2010 8:21:22 AM

  14. NO BLACK MAN IS GOING TO TRY AND TAKE DOWN A COP UNARMED? Give me a break! I know that much! The story sounds a little to conceived. And it's basically the cops word against nothing, so I guess that's a couple of notches on his belt.

    I hope the truth comes out. You HATEFUL queens who are siding with the cop just because you think public sex is dirty, are not helping the cause. He could have just been standing there for all we know. It's total BULLSHIT!

    Posted by: Hollywood, CA | Jul 23, 2010 4:44:16 AM

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