Montgomery, AL — Aaron Cody Smith, a white police officer from Alabama who shot and killed Greg Gunn, a 58-year old unarmed Black man in 2016, has finally been convicted of manslaughter.
Smith was initially charged by prosecutors with murder. After a one-day deliberation, a jury returned a unanimous decision on the charge of manslaughter.
According to reports, Smith stopped Gunn for a stop-and-frisk, but Gunn allegedly tried to escape. Smith said he shot at him in self-defense as Gunn allegedly attacked him with a metal pole that he allegedly grabbed from a nearby porch, an assertion that was not proven during the trial.
“How in the world do you think he’s picking up this paint roller and doing all this swinging and all this threatening, and still holding his baseball hat in his hand?” District Attorney Daryl Bailey asked jurors rhetorically before the deliberations began.
The decision came after the trial was delayed for a long time as eight consecutive judges recused themselves from the case.