Bodycam Video Shows Ohio Cops Shocked and Confused Federal Law Applies to them
New footage from Ohio shows the events that took place just after an IRS security guard pulled his gun on a uniformed Lucas County sheriff’s deputy who entered the Internal Revenue Service office in Toledo to ask a question about his taxes.
Conversation among police officers reveal a lot of confusion about where 57-year-old Lucas County sheriff's deputy Alan Gaston is allowed to go inside the building while armed with his gun even though he's in uniform.
Video begins with officers rushing to a scene where they find Paragon Systems security guard Seth Eklun, 33, claiming the rule is clear: that not even an on-duty sheriff's deputy can be armed while inside a federal building unless called there on official business.
Gaston explains he just stopped in to ask a question.
Eklun says he's not there on official business.
"So I drew on him," he tells Toledo police officers responding to the call.
"Even if he's an officer," a female cop asks the security guard.
"You're not allowed to have your gun on federal property," Eklun replies.
"Even us?" another cop inquires.
"Even you, unless you're here on official business."
Deputy Gatson tells his side of the story, saying he only asked if there was a locker where could store his gun so he could enter the building without having to leave to disarm.
He added he'd been there before armed and in uniform without issue.
Officers discussing the issue are unsure of what charges, if any, to bring against Eklund for drawing his gun on deputy Gaston.
"So what’s the law as far as somebody bringing a firearm in a government building?" one person asks, emphasizing the deputy was there on personal business.
"As long as he's in uniform," one of the Toledo officers says.
"He can walk over to the government building and walk anywhere in Government Center he wants dressed like that."
But that same officer later seems to waiver, saying he understood where both Gaston and Eklund were coming from.
"The sad part is, they're both [right]."
"[Eklun] feels that he was in the right. Now I don't know what your guys' rules are, and I know it says no firearms, but the problem is he's in uniform."
All of the responding officers appear to agree Eklun took took things too far.
"At what point do you think it’s good to pull a gun and point a gun at a law enforcement officer?" one Toledo officer asks.
"I’ll be honest, this is the first time I’ve ever dealt with this. I’ve been on for 13 years, and I’ve never had a security guard pull a gun on another officer."
The video is now the center of the lawsuit filed by deputy Gaston, which we reported about last month.
The lawsuit claims Eklund discriminated against Gaston based on race when he drew his gun on him inside of the federal building, claiming he refused to allow him to leave before brandishing his weapon.
Paragon Systems Inc., Eklund's employers, and Praetorian Shield Inc., both contracted by the Federal Protective Service, are also named as defendant's in deputy Gaston's lawsuit.
Eklund has since been terminated and has pleaded not guilty to aggravated menacing, according to the Toledo Blade.
Deputy Gaston was never charged for any crimes related to the incident.