There was a police shooting in Columbus, Ohio last Friday which is now receiving attention from Black Lives Matter and the FBI. At the moment there are two different stories about what happened. Police say Jason Meade, a 17-year-veteran who was part of a U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force, shot 23-year-old Casey Goodson after wrapping up an investigation looking for violent fugitives in the area.
Peter Tobin, the U.S. Marshal for the Southern District of Ohio, said Friday during a press conference that a fugitive task force that included marshals and Franklin County Sheriff’s office SWAT members had just finished an unsuccessful search for a suspect when a 23-year-old man drove by, waving a handgun at a sheriff’s SWAT deputy.
The SWAT deputy confronted the man, who had by this point gotten out of his vehicle. The deputy told the gunman to drop his handgun, a command heard by at least one witness, Tobin said.
When the man with the gun did not drop his weapon, Tobin said, the deputy shot him.
That’s the police version of events. Meanwhile, Goodson’s sister published a Facebook post claiming police were lying and that her brother was merely walking into his house with a Subway sandwich when he was shot in the back:
They are lying! My brother literally walked across the yard, walked into the back fence to get to the side door, had his subway and mask in one hand keys in the other, UNLOCKED AND OPENED THE DOOR and stepped in the house before shooting him. IF HE WAS SUCH A THREAT WHY DID YOU WAIT SO LONG TO SHOOT?! WHY DID TOU KILL A MAN WALKING INTO HIS OWN HOME?!
Police did find a gun at the scene but Goodson apparently had a concealed carry permit:
According to documentation provided by his family’s lawyers, Walton + Brown, Goodson’s concealed carry license was up-to-date. The Ohio Bar Association says any legal weapon owner can openly carry weapons in most places in Ohio, even without a concealed weapon license.
So the fact that Goodson possessed a gun and had it with him doesn’t mean much in this case. The question is what transpired with the gun prior to the shooting. Did Goodson brandish it at Meade and refuse to drop it? Did he have his back to Meade when he was shot as the sister’s version of events suggests? We’ll have to wait on autopsy results and witness statements because it seems there won’t be any video in this case.
Attorney Ben Crump who has represented the families of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor posted a tweet claiming Meade mistook Goodson for a fugitive.
This is Casey Goodson, a 23yo Black man from Ohio. On 12/4, an @OHFCSO deputy mistook Casey for a fugitive & fatally shot him 3x in the BACK. He was walking into his own home with a sandwich, NOT a gun. This shoot 1st, ask Qs later mentality MUST END! We demand #JusticeForCasey!! pic.twitter.com/aReHMF3nKL
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) December 6, 2020
The legal firm that is representing Goodson’s family also issued a statement which said in part:
Casey is not alleged to have committed any crimes, has no criminal background, and was not the target of any investigation. Casey was licensed to carry a concealed weapon and Ohio does not prohibit the open carrying of firearms. It is troubling that authorities have already stated that they believe the shooting to be justified, prior to any investigation taking place and before any information has been released to the family. At this point, witness testimony and physical evidence raise serious concerns about why Casey was even confronted, let alone why he was shot dead while entering his own home.
The letter goes on to demand a thorough investigation and it appears they will get it because both the FBI and the DOJ Civil Rights Division is now involved in the case.
United States Attorney David M. DeVillers announced today the U.S. Attorney’s Office – in coordination with the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, the Cincinnati Division of the FBI and the Columbus Division of Police – will review the facts and circumstances surrounding the Dec. 4, 2020 shooting of Casey Goodson and take appropriate action if the evidence indicates any federal civil rights laws were violated.
So that’s where things stand at the moment. As of yesterday Jason Meade still hadn’t been interviewed yet so there’s probably still a long way to go in this case.