DeFarra "Dean" Gaymon's relatives say they've gone from anger to outrage after hearing a prosecutor's version of the incident that left him dead.
Gaymon was in New Jersey July 16th to attend his 30th high school reunion. He never made it to the event he'd helped to plan.
The 48 year-old Atlanta-based credit union chief executive was in Branch Brook Park that day, where an Essex County Sheriff's officer says Gaymon performed a self-satisfying sex act and then propositioned the male officer.
As the officer attempted to arrest and handcuff Gaymon, he "in what the officer perceived to be a threatening manner, turned, reached into his pocket and tried to disarm the officer," said acting Essex County Prosecutor Robert Laurino.
"That statement is a blatant lie concocted after four days of unexplained silence," the Gaymon family said in a statement of its own.
But Jon Shane, who teaches police tactics at John Jay College and is a former Newark Police captain, says if the officer was in fear for his life, the shooting could be justified.
"There are levels of non-lethal force that should be used first, said Professor Shane. "But If the suspect elevates the violence by his own threatening conduct, then the officer is not required to pause and warn, 'excuse me, if you don't stop I'm going to shoot you.' "
The 29 year-old officer involved, whom investigators have declined to identify, was working undercover and according to the prosecutor's office, did not have chemical spray, a baton or a radio. As the investigation proceeds, he remains on medical leave, not cleared to return to duty.
In their statement, the Gaymon family says "Essex County has wrongfully taken Dean Gaymon's life and with him not being here to present his side of the story, they are now attempting to defame him in death and to kill his name and reputation in addition to his body. We will not stand by and allow this to occur."
So far though, the FBI has not entered the case. "Nobody has told us they want a role, much less want to take over," said a spokeswoman for the Essex Prosecutor.
Which leaves Dean Gaymon's relatives eager for an explanation: how did a prominent executive with no criminal past and a gentle reputation, travel to a school reunion and end up at the morgue?