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Tenn. woman busted after pointing gun at black man asking for a cigarette from 10 feet away

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A 67-year-old Tennessee woman was arrested and charged with aggravated assault after drawing her gun on a black man authorities said posed no threat to her, WTVF-TV reported.

“I have never been so afraid of anything in my whole life I don’t think,” Sherry McLain said of the encounter in a Walmart parking lot last weekend. “This guy is the bad guy and I’m the one in handcuffs walking away.”

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According to the Murfeesboro Daily News Journal, security footage shows 52-year-old James Crutchfield walking past McLain and turning toward her, but not behaving toward her in a threatening manner.

McLain has insisted that Crutchfield approached her even after she drew her handgun and told him to stop. But the footage actually shows him backing away from her with his hands up before approaching another woman, Diane Miller, and telling her to call the police before running into the store. WTVF reported that Crutchfield never got within 10 feet of McLain during the encounter.

Crutchfield told police that he had asked McLain if she had a cigarette lighter since he had just bought cigarettes in the store, only for her to brandish her weapon. The footage reportedly shows McLain lowering her gun after he got away from her, only to raise it again when Crutchfield approached Miller and a child.

Miller’s daughter, Keeley Benoit, corroborated the police’s account of the incident, saying that “the gun was being pointed at the three of them and [McLain] says, ‘I’m going to shoot you. I’m going to kill you.'”

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McLain, who has a legal permit for the gun, faced a $15,000 bond and was also charged with reckless endangerment.

“What are we supposed to do if we can’t protect ourselves?” she asked. “I’m 67 years old.”

Watch WTVF’s report, as aired on Monday, below.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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