Officer Who Shot, Killed CEO Named
BY Advocate.com Editors
July 27 2010 9:30 AM ET
The officer who allegedly shot and killed an Atlanta bank CEO at a popular gay cruising spot in Newark, N.J. has been identified as 29-year-old medal of merit recipient Edward Esposito.
Authorities for the Essex County sheriff’s department had refused to name Esposito, claiming a risk to his undercover work. But both MontclairPatch.com and The Star-Ledger revealed his identity, citing multiple sources from within the department.
Earlier this month, Credit Union of Atlanta CEO DeFarra Gaymon was shot and killed by a police officer in Newark after allegedly propositioning the officer at a gay cruising area.
Gaymon allegedly stopped by the Branch Brook Park area while en route to his 30th high school reunion. The neighborhood is known for attracting sexual activity and male prostitutes, according to a report in The New York Times.
According to Essex County prosecutor Robert D. Laurino, the officer, whose name he refused to release at the time, claims he fired in self-defense. He says when he attempted to arrest Gaymon for lewd behavior, he ran and, when cornered, tried to disarm the officer. The officer shot Gaymon once. He died three hours later at nearby University Hospital.
The chairs of Garden State Equality and the Gender Rights Advocacy Association of New Jersey sent a letter to Laurino and Essex County sheriff Armando B. Fontoura demanding an investigation into the killing. The letter asks if the incident was part of a sting operation in Branch Brook Park and requests a meeting to further discuss the killing.
"In no way do we condone any violation of lewdness statutes," the letter reads. "But any sting operation targeting gay men or LGBT people specifically, or anyone perceived as such, is unconscionable — and as we strongly believe, illegal."
Gaymon was married and the father of four children.