The president of the Ethical Society of Police in St Louis, Heather Taylor, said that Mr Eklund behaved recklessly and likely would not have treated a white officer the same way. “We know what it’s like being an African American police officer in a city,” Ms Taylor said. “A lot of us realise that, hey, even though you’re in uniform, that doesn’t mean you’re safe.”
“You’re not given the benefit of the doubt as a minority,” Ms Taylor said. “It’s something we’ve been highlighting forever and now here’s another example of it.” While applauding Mr Gaston’s cool demeanor in the face of what she said was potentially lethal bigotry.
Mr Gaston said he didn’t feel that Mr Eklund respected him as a law enforcement officer, and in more than three decades of police work has never dealt with anything like that.
Deputy Gaston stated that the standoff between himself and Mr Eklund ended, when Toledo police officers responded to a 911 call from inside the building that mentioned a man who has “got a gun” and “won’t leave”. The caller didn’t mention that the man was a police officer.
When the Toledo police arrived, Mr Gaston recalled, that they told Mr Eklund: “You know he’s a uniformed deputy sheriff, right? We can go anywhere in this building we want.”