‘On personal business’ Federal security officer vs. sheriff’s deputy at Ohio IRS building

By now you have heard about the altercation involving an IRS federal security officer Seth Eklund pulling his weapon on Sheriff's Deputy Alan Gaston, when the deputy would not leave the property or surrender his weapon. For all of the news of security professionals not fulfilling their duties, we have a case of one following them to the letter, and yet there is a cloud of controversy.

The rub, as The Blade's Kaitlin Durbin writes, is this: "Deputy Gaston said he went to the IRS office, 422 N. Summit St., to ask a question about a letter he had received in the mail. Though he was on duty and in full uniform, he said he told Mr. Eklund he was there on personal business, at which point Mr. Eklund asked him to remove his gun."

Gaston was on duty, but there on personal business. He should have either left his weapon elsewhere, or appeared at the building unarmed and in plainclothes. The one sticking point for Eklund might be that he followed Gaston to the elevators with his gun drawn at Gaston's back; however, Eklund might argue he did so to ensure the threat was removed. It's a very interesting case and one that we will be following here. --IFPO.

 

By Kaitlin Durbin, The Toledo Blade

The Blade has obtained new bodycam footage from Toledo police of what happened after a security guard pulled his gun on a uniformed Lucas County sheriff’s deputy at the Internal Revenue Service office in Toledo. The three new videos show there’s still confusion over where an armed law enforcement officer is allowed to go.

For Paragon Systems security guard Seth Eklund, 33, the rule was clear: no one, not even an on-duty sheriff’s deputy, can be armed in a federal building unless called there on official business.

“He was violating my directives,” Mr. Eklund tells Toledo police offers. “He just can’t be here with a weapon, and he wasn’t listening.”

But conversations among the officers, captured on their body cameras, show even they were unsure of the rules or what charges, if any, to arrest Mr. Eklund on after he held Deputy Alan Gaston, 57, at gunpoint.

“So what’s the law as far as somebody bringing ... a firearm in a government [building]?” one person is heard asking on the video, stressing that the deputy was there on personal business.

“As long as he’s in uniform [he can carry],” another officer responds. “He can walk over to the government building and walk anywhere in Government Center he wants dressed like that.”

Read the rest of the story.

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By |2019-08-05T10:55:44+00:00August 3rd, 2019|News|Comments Off on ‘On personal business’ Federal security officer vs. sheriff’s deputy at Ohio IRS building

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