The citizens of Akron, Ohio are angry about a White man walking through their neighborhood openly carrying a rifle and handgun.
Deone Slater, owner of Kangaroo Kutz, confronted Daniel Kovacevic and refused to allow the gun-toting White man to walk in front of his barbershop. Slater joined guest host Catalina Byrd Tuesday on NewsOne Now to discuss his tense encounter with Kovacevic and the response from Akron police.
Ohio’s gun laws allow for citizens to openly carry firearms, but when Slater became aware of Kovacevic’s presence outside of his barbershop, he sprang into action to prevent the intimidating man from walking in front of his establishment. Cell phone footage captured at the scene shows Slater standing at a respectable distance, blocking Kovacevic’s path.
According to Slater, Kovacevic has walked through the neighborhood openly carrying firearms at least two or three times.
At one point during their encounter, Kovacevic called police officers on the unarmed barbershop owner. When law enforcement arrived on the scene, they informed Slater of Kovacevic’s right to be on the sidewalk with their hands on their Tasers and guns. Slater said, “When the police came, they came to me, they didn’t go to him.”
“When they were talking to me, they were grabbing they Tasers — they were ready to light me up.”
“If somebody Black walked down the street with that same gun, he would have been dead and they would have been asking questions later,” Slater told Byrd and the NewsOne Now panel.
Officers made Slater return to his store so the gun-toting man could pass by.
After the encounter, Kovacevic left a message for Slater saying that he wanted to talk and asked if “he would carry a gun with him.”
During their second encounter, Kovacevic told Slater he “wasn’t his enemy” and asked if the shop owner was Christian. He then quoted Scripture and talked about Constitutional amendments.
Slater explained that he asked Kovacevic if he was “going on a shooting spree,” to which Kovacevic replied that he was not.
“I don’t have a problem with you carrying guns, just not at 9 o’clock in the morning, not in a Black neighborhood, not in the University of Akron” and not near the Mason Elementary School, which is not far from where the incident took place, Slater said.
Watch guest host Catalina Byrd, Deone Slater, and the NewsOne Now panel discuss the tense encounter in the video clip above.
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