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Judicial candidate says an officer died in his arms, colleagues say he was never there

Multiple officers filled out sworn affidavits stating that Callaghan may never have even been on the scene.

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“We got Aaron out of the car and began CPR,” said Chris Callaghan, a candidate for a circuit judgeship in Mobile County, in a campaign ad. “This was a police officer who I just felt like he died in my arms — I know he was already dead, but in that moment.”

Callaghan is referring to the fatal shooting of Fulton County Police Officer Aaron Blount on April 22, 2003.

But multiple officers that responded to the scene of Blount’s death filled out sworn affidavits stating that Callaghan may never have even been on the scene.

“Officer Aaron Blount did not die in Christopher Callaghan’s arms, as Mr. Callaghan has claimed,” said Gary Stiles, a captain in the Fulton County Police Department at the time of Blount’s death, in a sworn affidavit dated Feb. 1, 2024. “Christopher Callaghan was also not the first officer on the scene, as Mr. Callaghan has claimed. In fact, I have no knowledge that Mr. Callaghan was at the scene … As the former chief of the Fulton County Police Department, it angers and disturbs me that Christopher Callaghan would steal valor and use the death of an officer for his own political gain.”

APR sent an email Tuesday to Callaghan for comment on this story, but did not receive a response before publishing time. This article will be updated upon a response.

However, Callaghan did respond to Lagniappe in Mobile, calling the revelations “nothing more than a political hit piece” and that the officers questioned may simply not remember his presence on the scene. 

Lagniappe confirmed that the affidavits were sought by individuals associated with the campaign for incumber Circuit Judge Vicki Davis. The outlet also cites Callaghan’s ex-wife, who says his story of the incident has been consistent over the years, and Callaghan’s knowledge of the accident scene being near railroad tracks despite that information not being in a police report.

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Affidavits from two other officers present at the scene, however, support Stiles’ statement.

Officer Reggie McCain, now a captain in the Fulton County police force, said he was the first officer on the scene after coming across Blount’s parked patrol vehicle with its lights still flashing.

“I radioed for assistance and Officer Chuck Cook, followed by Officer Mark Jeffrey, were. the next officers to arrive on scene,” McCain recalled in the affidavit. “I, along with Officer Cook, removed Officer Blount from his patrol car. Officer Cook, who was a SWAT medic, provided medical care to Officer Blount until EMS arrived shortly after …

“Officer Blount did not die in Christopher Callaghan’s arms. I have no recollection of Christopher Callaghan even being at the scene.”

McCain said he even reviewed his own incident report from the scene and found that Callaghan’s name is not documented.

“As a law enforcement officer, it is disturbing that someone would lie about this horrific event, and it angers me that Aaron’s death could somehow be twisted by Mr. Callaghan for his own political gain.”

Mark Jeffery, who McCain indicated in his affidavit as one of the officers on the scene, confirmed McCain’s account and said that he, McCain and Cook were the only officers he recalls being on the scene until EMS arrived to transport Blount.

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Callaghan told Lagniappe that he had ridden with Cook and that Cook had not filed an affidavit despite being approached to do so.

Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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