A grand jury in Essex County, N.J., has declined to bring criminal charges against a sheriff’s officer who last July fatally shot credit union CEO DeFarra “Dean” Gaymon during a confrontation in a Newark park.
Gaymon, CEO of the $61 million Credit Union of Atlanta, was in the area for an alumni class reunion at Montclair High School. The officer, Edward Esposito, was patrolling undercover in Branch Brook Park in Newark.
“We made an effort to find out if there was anyone who saw the events in the park,” said Katherine Carter, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office. “No witnesses ever came forward to say they saw all, or a portion, of the encounter.”
Carter declined to comment on what evidence was presented to the grand jury, which made its decision not to indict the officer last Friday. The acting Essex County prosecutor, Carolyn A. Murray, informed the Gaymon family of the decision late Monday, Ms. Carter said.
The Gaymon family has filed a civil suit against Officer Esposito and the sheriff’s office in Essex County Superior Court. “In our view, we don’t feel like we got a legitimate investigation out of the prosecutor’s office,” Christopher W. Kinum, an attorney for the family told The New York Times.
A lawyer for the officer, Charles J. Sciarra, said his client had testified voluntarily before the grand jury. “There was never a doubt that the use of force was an absolute last resort and justified in all aspects,” he said.