Trending Topics

Coroner Rules Casey Goodson’s Death a Homicide as Police Chief Welcomes DOJ Civil Rights Investigation for ‘Transparency’

Franklin County Corner Dr. Anahi M. Ortiz ruled Casey Christopher Goodson Jr.’s death a homicide, she announced in a statement Wednesday.

Jason Meade, a Franklin County Sheriff’s deputy assigned to a U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force, shot and killed Goodson outside his family home in northern Columbus, Ohio, on Dec. 4.

Casey Christopher Goodson Jr., was shot and killed by an Ohio deputy outside his family home Dec. 4. (Photo: Tamala Payne/Facebook/Franklin County Sheriff’s Office)

An autopsy was performed Tuesday and Ortiz released preliminary findings from the medical examination, which show that the 23-year-old Black man died from multiple gunshot wounds to his torso, although the report did not clarify whether Goodson was shot from behind, as his family has claimed.

Authorities initially claimed Goodson brandished a gun as they gave preliminary indications that the fatal shooting was justified. Law enforcement officials say Meade, a 17-year SWAT team deputy, saw Goodson driving down the street waving a gun and followed him to his yard to confront him. It remains unclear how that confrontation led to the shooting.

Relatives of Goodson who say they witnessed the incident maintain that he was not armed. Instead, they contend he was carrying keys, a face mask and Subway sandwiches in his hands when Meade opened fire and shot him three times in the back as he unlocked the door to his family home.

Loved ones say Goodson was returning home from a dental appointment. He was licensed to carry a concealed weapon and was not the target of the U.S. Marshals fugitive manhunt near his home that day.

The Columbus Division of Police Critical Incident and Response Team is investigating the slaying. And the U.S. Department of Justice launched a concurrent federal civil rights investigation into Goodson’s death, the agency announced Tuesday.

The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio will partner with the FBI for the probe to determine if any civil rights laws were violated during the deadly encounter.

“After being briefed about the circumstances surrounding the incident by CPD, I believe a federal investigation is warranted,” David M. Devillers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, said in a statement.

Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan, who requested the federal authorities’ help, said their independent investigation “brings all of the resources of the federal government to answer the critical civil rights questions being posed by the community.”

“This offers the highest level of transparency and a clear path to the truth,” Quinlan added.

An investigation by local news outlet 6 On Your Side found Meade received an oral reprimand in March 2019 for “violating rules and regulations for deploying his taser on a suspect and didn’t notify his supervision or communications about the use of force.”

Additional records showed Meade received less than satisfactory marks on his 2010 performance evaluation where it was noted that he seems to be “content with only doing the bare minimum to get by.” A more recent evaluation noted he was “highly motivated”

The team from the U.S. Marshals Southern District of Ohio had just finished an unsuccessful manhunt for “violent suspects” near Goodson’s home the afternoon of Dec. 4. Goodson had no warrants and was not being sought by the unit.

The task force was wrapping up for the day when Meade reportedly saw Goodson drive by waving a gun, federal marshals are reporting. The Columbus Division of Police said there were reports of a verbal exchange.

A weapon was recovered from the scene, according to a Franklin County Sheriff’s Office statement that the cited the U.S. Marshals office. No bodycam footage from the incident is available because Franklin County sheriff’s deputies assigned to the task force aren’t outfitted with them.

CPD stressed that no officers or civilians bore witness to the shooting, in an update Wednesday.

During a Tuesday interview on the Breakfast Club, Sean Walton, a Columbus civil rights attorney retained by Goodson’s family, explained that relatives in the home heard three gunshots and saw Goodson fall into the kitchen. His keys still hung in the door.

“At that point, his 5-year-old brother started screaming, his 3-year-old cousin started screaming, and 72-year-old grandmother came into the kitchen and saw her baby on the kitchen floor in a pool of blood with Subway (sandwiches) lying next to him,” Walton said during the interview. “That’s the story, that a man was executed walking into his own home. It was not that a man was waving a gun.”

GoFundMe page set up for Goodson’s family had raised nearly $78,000 by Wednesday evening. Meanwhile, area activists have planned a protest set to step off at the Ohio State House in Columbus at noon Saturday, Dec. 12.

Neither Walton nor Goodson’s mother, Tamala Payne, could be immediately reached for comment Wednesday. Walton said there were “key details that raise cause for extreme concern” in a statement Sunday.

“We are shattered,” a tearful Payne told “The Breakfast Club.”

“Casey was my rock. He was the big brother so he helped with everything. My son was more than amazing, and he did not deserve this,” she added. “The only threat my son was was being a Black man in America.”

Back to top