Trial underway for Montgomery police officer charged with killing unarmed black man

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(Aaron Cody Smith (left), Greg Gunn (right), CBS 8, Montgomery)

OZARK, Ala. (AP) – Jury selection is beginning in the murder trial of an Alabama police officer charged with killing an unarmed black man.

Montgomery police Officer Aaron Cody Smith is charged in the 2016 shooting death of 58-year-old Gregory Gunn. Potential jurors reported Monday.

Smith, who is white, maintains he shot Gunn in self-defense.

The shooting happened as Gunn was walking in a neighborhood and Smith asked him to submit to a frisk.

News outlets report Smith testified in a 2018 hearing that Gunn fled.

Smith said he used a stun gun and baton, and then pulled his gun because he thought Gunn was arming himself with a painter’s pole from a porch. Gunn was shot five times.

The trial was moved to Ozark after defense lawyers argued Smith couldn’t get a fair trial in Montgomery.

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