Another Young Black Man Gunned Down by Police
(OH) – Casey Goodson, Jr. had a dentist’s appointment on Friday. Once he was finished there, he stopped at a Subway to pick up some sandwiches and headed home. At some point he passed an area where a U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force was looking for a wanted individual. 23-year old Goodson was not the individual being searched for nor did he have any kind of criminal history or warrants. What he did have, was a gun and a license to carry a concealed weapon.
It’s unknown what really happened. According to the U.S. Marshal’s task force, Mr. Goodson waved a gun around as he drove past. Deputy Jason Meade followed Mr. Goodson home and approached him. At some point Mr. Goodson put his house key in the lock and began to open the door at which point Deputy Meade shot Mr. Goodson.
Deputy Meade is the Only Witness
Deputy Jason Meade was assigned to work with the U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force. Franklin County Sheriff’s Office does not have body cameras for their deputies yet, so Deputy Meade did not have one on. No other officers were in the vicinity during the shooting. Mr. Goodson’s grandmother was home, but all she saw was her grandson falling through the doorway after he had already been shot. Supposedly there was a witness who heard the deputy shout drop the gun, but did not see the shooting. We don’t know where the witness was, possibly inside another home and by the time he or she got to a window, Mr. Goodson had already been shot. I don’t know if that’s what happened, but it’s a possibility as to why someone would hear the command, but not see the shooting. Regardless, that means there are only two people who know what happened and one of them is dead.
Even Without Video the Story Smells Fishy
We are all used to police violence, particularly against Black men, and have started to give serious attention to the evidence police cite. According to 10TV.com, “The U.S. Marshals Service said Friday the task force was wrapping up an operation when Goodson drove by and waved a gun at deputies.” This is a very disturbing statement. Let’s ignore the fact that it makes no sense that Goodson, who didn’t have a criminal background, wasn’t wanted by law enforcement, and who had taken the time and spent the money to get his concealed handgun license, would foolishly throw all that away and wave his gun at officers for no reason, as he drove by them.
Rather let’s just look at the claim that he waved a gun at deputies. If that really happened, why would the U.S. Marshals Service let one officer to go off on his own, with no back-up whatsoever, to confront a man they knew was armed with a gun? Does that make any sense? According to the statement, they were wrapping up the operation so there would have been plenty of officers right there, yet only one of them went after a person waving a gun around?
We don’t know what happened when Deputy Meade confronted Mr. Goodson, or even if he really did. Mr. Goodson had his key in the door and was unlocking it. Was that the point when Deputy Meade came up, and thinking Mr. Goodson was going to get away, yelled ‘drop the weapon’? Did Mr. Goodson start to turn around to see what was going on and did Deputy Meade take that as an aggressive move and resort to deadly force?
See, it’s the positioning that gets me. Where were they? Why was Goodson already at his door when he was shot? How far away was Meade from Goodson when he shot him? If a person is facing away from you, what is the justification for deadly force? We need to know exactly how this played out to be able to tell if it’s even feasible.
Another thing that bothers me is the claim, by the U.S. Marshals Service, that Mr. Goodson had a gun. Well, he did have a concealed carry license so he probably did have a gun. The problem is, they don’t tell us where the gun was found. Why not? Supposedly, Mr. Goodson had the bag of sandwhiches, a face mask and his keys in his hands. Where was the gun? Did they find it in its holster?
U.S. Marshals Service Carries Some Blame
I understand that the U.S. Marshals Service uses local law enforcement to beef up their ranks when doing special operations, not only for more manpower, but also because local law enforcement is more in touch with the community that the U.S. Marshals Service is conducting their operaton in. That’s fine. But if they are going to use local law enforcement they should ensure that those officers are equipped appropriately, which would include body cameras. And knowing that some of agencies haven’t been able to get the funding for body cameras, the U.S. Marshals Service should supply them with the cameras to use during the operation. It’s the least I would expect from an elite law enforcement agency like the U.S. Marshals Service.
Autopsy Results are Supposed to be Released Today
This is a very recent shooting. We still have a lot of unanswered questions. The investigation is being conducted by the Columbus Police Department. According to CNN, “In addition, the US Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio and the FBI are launching a federal civil rights investigation.” The autopsy is scheduled to be completed today, Wednesday. If it turns out that the bullets struck Mr. Goodson in the back, it’s going to be a stretch, more like impossible, to image that Meade feared for his life and had to resort to deadly force.
The below video tells us that Meade’s discipline record included a failure to report the use of force when he used a taser. That he has hiding use of force in his history, is concerning. He was also previously removed from an investigator position.