23-year-old Black man killed by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office on Friday.
BY MATTHEW DORON, ‘23.
On Dec. 4, Casey Christopher Goodson, Jr. was shot and killed by Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jason Meade. Family members and activists said Goodson was carrying a sandwich, but the U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Ohio, Peter Tobin, said that Goodson was “driving down the street waving a gun,” according to a WOSU report of Tobin’s press conference. However, activists and the family’s attorney, Sean Walton, said that Tobin’s statement made no mention of Goodson’s concealed carry license and excluded crucial details.
At the time of the shooting, Meade was working full-time on the U.S. Marshal’s Service Fugitive Task Force, which had just concluded an unsuccessful search for “violent suspects” prior to the incident. Goodson was not a suspect in the search, nor was he wanted by the police previously. Walton + Brown, the law firm representing Goodson’s family, said that he was returning home from a dentist appointment at the time of the incident.
As of Sunday, Dec. 6, Meade had not been questioned by the Columbus Division of Police Critical Incident and Response Team, who are investigating the incident. Tobin said he believes the shooting was justified, though many activists see this incident as another example of unjustified force from the police against Black Americans. Goodson’s death comes months after an international spotlight on the Black Lives Matter movement and protests regarding police brutality.
Many of Goodson’s family and friends have refuted the claim that the shooting was justified because he was waving his gun. They said that he was a responsible gun owner and was dedicated to his family. Family friend Heather Johnson told The Columbus Dispatch about Goodson, “He just enjoyed being a big brother and enjoyed being with his family, he loved them very much.” The family also said that Goodson was shot in the back three times, but the Franklin County Coroner has yet to conduct an autopsy.
The People’s Justice Project, a grassroots organization focused on confronting police violence and incarceration within communities of color, hosted a vigil for Goodson on Dec. 5 and is planning a rally for justice at noon on Dec. 12 at the Ohio Statehouse.