A coalition of gay groups in Essex County met with the sheriff and the county executive yesterday to discuss the county’s enforcement policy on sexual “cruising” — in light of last month’s shooting death of Dean Gaymon in Branch Brook Park. The discussion apparently mollified concerns in the gay community that Essex County is unfairly, and dangerous, targeting them.
Darnell L. Moore, Chair of the LGBTQ Concerns Commission of the City of Newark, said in a press release, “We were extremely heartened by the spirit of cooperation and communityexpressed by County Executive DiVincenzo and County Sheriff Fontoura this afternoon. We look forward to finding more formal ways to partner with the County on this issue going forward.”
Rev. Janyce L. Jackson, pastor of Newark’s Liberation in Truth Unity Fellowship Church, stated, “I am feeling very hopeful, because the County officials are listening and responding to our concerns. Newark and Essex County can be a place where the LGBTIQ community feels safe, and we are committed to working with the County whenever possible.”
Gaymon, an Atlanta credit union CEO, was back in the area for the Montclair High School reunion.