For immediate release
Statement from the Greg Gunn Family Regarding Preliminary Trial Hearing Decision
March 25, 2016 (Montgomery, AL) – Yesterday’s decision supports what we have believed from the outset regarding the killing of Greg Gunn by MPD officer Aaron Smith. The news media in Alabama just now seem to acknowledge that his killing was not justified. The District Attorney’s decision to charge and issue an arrest warrant for the officer involved in the murder of Greg Gunn based upon ABI’s investigation was both a warranted and critical first step in this process. Now a District Court Judge after hearing evidence of probable cause has bound this case over to a Montgomery County Grand Jury to consider issuing an indictment against Officer Smith.
Aaron Smith has two materially different accounts of the events leading up to the shooting. Most telling is that in each instance, he was given his Miranda rights and advised that his statement was taken in conjunction with a criminal investigation. The second statement was given in the presence of the officer’s lawyer.
Both statements are damning. We know Greg Gunn was shot five times signaling intent to kill and now we know seven shots were fired. We also know that the officer failed to activate his body cam and failed to activate his dash cam. Those safeguards were provided to officers at great taxpayer expense. The officer’s failure to activate his cams raises multiple serious concerns.
This encounter lasted only two minutes. By the officer’s own admission, in both of his statements, there was never a time that Gunn posed either a physical or verbal threat to Officer Smith’s wellbeing or to the wellbeing of the public.
How does law enforcement shoot an unarmed 58-year-old man five times and call it justified? From the inappropriate and unconstitutional use of Alabama’s stop and question law to the unlawful and unconstitutional use of excessive force to the failure of safeguards designed to protect both citizens and officers alike and the failure of those officers to render assistance once our beloved was shot – we want justice for our brother, our son, our friend…Greg Gunn.
We call upon the leaders of this community to exercise leadership and eradicate the systemic violations of constitutional rights of its citizens that ultimately resulted in an unnecessary death.
Check the Means Gillis Law website for updates from legal counsel representing the Gunn family.