Bodycam Video Shows Ohio Cops Shocked and Confused Federal Law Applies to them

A security guard was fired and charged. But who was right?

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.

Comments (14)
No. 1-7
David Saint
David Saint

cop was wrong for going there on tax dollar time, but who in their right mind pulls a gun on a cop in full uniform without a legit reason?

chriskarma
chriskarma

I spent a long time as an armed security professional but not as a sworn officer. I would not have stopped the cop but rather let the feds deal with it, unless i did not give a crap about facing charges, losing my job and having local pd hate me. i think the guy was legally correct but a moron. let the cop break the law/let the feds enforce it. security guards are civilians with guns, most of them are even dumber than cops too.

Tatoo49
Tatoo49

I think it is good that a cop actually is faced with the fear of being shot. Having a gun staring down your eyes is very intimidating, which is why cops do it too often. Turnabout is fair play, great seeing cops scream 'foul'. And nobody got hurt. Except cops pride.

Tatoo49
Tatoo49

Pulling his weapon was a little over-the-top. But, I agree. Not there on official business, leave your gun in the car or lock it someplace downstairs. Just because he is a cop does not mean he is not there to do harm. No bullshit special circumstances giving cops extra-ordinary rights. The cop did not need his gun to ask a personal question and we can not read the mind of the cop.

2 Replies

David Saint
David Saint

i see what you are saying, but they generally dont risk their weapons being stolen

RomanCaesar
RomanCaesar

That’s why the go off duty. We have to make special trips to federal offices because we usually are armed. Everyone knows you go on your day off and not armed.. this deputy needs to be federally charged

NewsNowNH
NewsNowNH

The law says if entering a federal building Firearms are not allowed! I believe the security officer was correct and doing what he did because why should a cop be allowed to walk in there with a gun to check on his taxes? What happens if the cop is disgruntled over his taxes and opens fire and don't tell me this never happens because it does. Then the security guy would be in trouble for letting the cop in with a gun. The security guard should have told the cop you cannot come in here with a fire on and if you could place it in your car and come back in that would be fine. You also have to realize the IRS has armed security for a reason and police are not above the law and cannot do what they want.

Colin1990
Colin1990

I'm no fan of the police with their unnecessarily violent tactics against the minority community, but drawing a gun on a cop by a security who followed the cop and escalated the situation, is just plain dumb and even suicidal. It is obvious from observing the security's interaction with the female cop n her partner that the security has a psychological issue. He kept stating he had to go back to his job and his post of guarding the 2 taxpayers inside the office even when told they were sent to their cars, the act of walking away from the 2 cops to stand by the entrance way in a military style seem to put him at ease. Yes, he's off. And certainly not someone who should tasked with being an armed security. At first I thought this story was racial but no, it's psychological. (P.S. he has a complex that allows him to function in a work environment, but not in a life and death capacity)

supervisionrequired
supervisionrequired

WOW! just wow!!! cops are STUPID! the guard gets fired and charged with a crime. while the punk pig doesn't! this puck pig needs to get fired too! cop think they are above the law! time to show them that this will not stand!