Gaymon Family Settles Suit for $1.5M
Four years after DeFarra “Dean” Gaymon, the former president/CEO of Credit Union of Atlanta, was killed during a sting operation in Newark, N.J., his family has settled a wrongful death lawsuit for $1.5 million.
Gaymon’s wife and four children settled Tuesday with Essex County, New Jersey authorities and will receive approximately $730,000 after attorney fees and expenses are deducted, according to local media reports.
The Essex County Sheriff’s Office did not admit to any wrongdoing as part of the settlement agreement.
In town for a high school reunion, Gaymon was shot and killed by an undercover sheriff's detective on July 16, 2010. The Essex County Prosecutor's Office said the officer was patroling Branch Brook Park in Newark, N.J., after receiving complaints of public sexual activity.
Edward Esposito, an undercover Essex County sheriff’s detective at the time, said in his statement that he encountered Gaymon while he was engaged in a sex act. When Esposito pulled out his badge, identified himself as a police officer and informed Gaymon he was under arrest, the detective said Gaymon appeared to panic, assaulted the officer and ran.
Gaymon ignored Esposito’s commands to stop, did not raise his arms or make his hands visible and repeatedly threatened to kill the officer, according to the detective's statement. Esposito said Gaymon then lunged at and attempted to disarm the officer while reaching into his own pocket.
The officer said he feared for his life and discharged his service weapon, striking Gaymon once. Esposito said he called for help and rendered first aid to Gaymon, who was rushed to University Hospital in Newark and pronounced dead at 9 p.m. on July 16, 2010, of a single gunshot wound to the abdomen.
The Gaymon family later filed a civil suit against Esposito, two senior officers and the Essex County sheriff’s office questioning the shooting’s investigation.
Gaymon had served as president/CEO of the $76.7 million Credit Union of Atlanta since 2006. He was 48 years old at the time of his death.
Neither a comment from the attorneys representing Gaymon’s family nor the Essex County sheriff’s office was immediately available on the settlement.