Ohio police officers had drastically different reactions to two men with fake guns, one of whom was white and one of whom was black. The black man was shot and killed, and the white man was taken into custody after a brief struggle.
Paul Gaston crashed his pickup truck, and 911 callers reportedly that there was an intoxicated man waving a gun. When police showed up on the scene, witnesses said that Gaston appeared to be disoriented as officer ordered him to lie down on the pavement.
Although he lay down for a moment, he tried to rise again to his knees, and police shot him nine times as they say he reached for a weapon that turned out to be a pellet gun.
Eighteen hours earlier, officers had been called to the home of Christopher Laugle to investigate an assault. When they arrived, Laugle picked up a realistic-looking weapon and pointed it at them. Instead of responding with lethal force, the officers reportedly showed “great restraint” and were able to take Laugle into custody after a brief struggle, despite the fact that officers did not know the weapon was fake until after the incident was over.
The incidents took place with separate police departments, but both in the state of Ohio.