Another Black man has died simply because a police officer thought he looked “suspicious.” According to reports by Montgomery Advertiser, Gregg Gunn, 58, decided to stop by a friend’s home after to work to participate in a weekly card game on Feb. 25.
Gunn left his friend’s home after midnight and began walking to his mother’s home who stayed a few blocks away. Moments before reaching his mother’s front door, a White Montgomery, Alabama, police officer, A.C. Smith, approached Gunn. Apparently, Smith thought that Gunn looked suspicious after reports of several burglaries in the neighborhood. Once Smith confronted Gunn, an argument ensued and Smith decided to pull his weapon. Gunn, who was unarmed, was shot five times and killed, according to witnesses who heard shots. His body dropped in the front yard next to his mother’s home.
Gunn’s family and Black community leaders in Montgomery are calling the incident a case of racial profiling. According to the evidence that has been provided thus far, it appears that Smith profiled Gunn without taking the time to ascertain who he was confronting. In a lot of cases where White officers kill unarmed Black men, the officers often view the Black men as suspects first without seeing the humanity of the person. As a result of only seeing Blacks as suspects, the officer’s first reaction is to use deadly force.
It’s an ongoing issue that is a national problem. A lot of White police officers lack the cultural intelligence to properly patrol Black and other minority neighborhoods. They are too quick to react with violence in situations that can be handled without the end result being death. Last week in Los Angeles, a Black couple was killed by police after falling asleep in their car, which was parked on the side of the road. Again, they were killed because police initially viewed them as suspicious.
Gunn’s brother believes that he would still be alive if he had a White man. But Gunn is now dead and Smith has yet to be arrested. Smith is currently on administrative duties as he awaits the results of an investigation that will be conducted by Alabama’s State Bureau of Investigation.