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Shooting of Casey Goodson Jr. Has Community Members Demanding Justice

Taijuan Moorman Taijuan Moorman Shooting of Casey Goodson Jr. Has Community Members Demanding JusticeJustice for Casey Goodson protest, Sat. Dec. 12, 2020. Photo by Matt Ellis.
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Editor’s note 12/7/20 5 p.m.: The article has been updated to include statements from Congresswoman Joyce Beatty and Columbus City Council.

12/9/20 3 p.m.: This update includes the latest on an independent investigation in the shooting of Casey Goodson by the DOJ and FBI.

On Friday, Dec. 4, media reported on the scene of an officer-involved shooting involving the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, the US Marshal’s Southern Ohio Fugitive Task Force, and 23-year-old Casey Goodson Jr., a Black man.

Goodson, who was shot and killed by 17-year Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy veteran Jason Meade, a white man, was not the person the task force was searching for, according to the US Marshal.

Immediately, the story from US Marshals contradicted what the family claims happened. US Marshal Pete Tobin told media that a confrontation between Meade and Goodson arose after Goodson “was seen driving down the street waving a gun.”

A statement from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office released on Friday announced Deputy Meade, who is currently assigned to the fugitive task force, is not on duty and is awaiting interview by the Columbus Division of Police Critical Incident and Response Team, which is investigating. The results of that investigation will be turned over to the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office for presentation to a grand jury.

“The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office is confident the Columbus Police Critical Incidence and Response Team will conduct a thorough and transparent investigation,” read a statement on Friday.

In addition, Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan announced the United States Department of Justice, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio and the FBI are launching concurrent federal civil rights investigations into the incident. The focus of the federal investigation will be whether or not Goodson’s civil rights were violated.

Meanwhile, family members of Goodson have taken to social media to tell their side of the story.

Family members have noted that Goodson was returning from a dentist appointment with food in his hand when the incident occurred. They also pointed out that Goodson had a license to carry a concealed handgun.

Tamala Payne, Goodson’s mother, said on Facebook that he was just walking in the door when he was shot three times in the back. “Grandmother, sister, uncle and other cousins all of them seen him on the kitchen floor with bullet holes in his back,” she said, demanding justice for her son.

Community members are now calling for the public release of police reports, an independent autopsy report, and an independent prosecutor investigation.

There is no body camera footage of the incident, as Franklin County Sherriff’s task force officers are not issued body cameras.

Congresswoman Joyce Beatty and Columbus City Council released statements on the shooting late Monday afternoon.

“The circumstances surrounding his tragic death are upsetting and extremely unsettling because too many Black men in our community are dying or are the victims of unjustifiable, excessive force from the very people sworn to protect and serve all of us,” said Congresswoman Beatty.

“While the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office is not a part of City government and we must wait for the results of the investigation, this loss of life weighs heavy upon us,” said Council. “Our call for Reimagining Safety in Columbus is not just about policy and budgets, but also about addressing the devastating impacts of violence that disproportionately affects black and brown families.”

Following a candlelight vigil the night of the shooting, community members have also announced a peaceful protest at the Franklin County Courthouse on Friday, Dec. 11 at 6 p.m. Find more information on Facebook.

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