Columbus: Hundreds Protest Murder of Casey Goodson Jr.

Photo credit: Da’Shaunae Marisa, New York Times

By Serran Soledad

Over 200 people gathered in front of the Ohio Statehouse on December 11 to protest the murder of Casey Goodson Jr., a 23-year-old Black man who was shot and killed by Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Meade as Goodson arrived home from a dental appointment.

Family members and loved ones stood at a podium, giving heartfelt speeches about Goodson, describing him as honorable and brave. “It didn’t matter if it was rain, sleet, or hail, he would do anything for us,” said his younger brother, attempting to hold back tears.

Organizers of the event listed off demands for transparency and accountability from Ohio law enforcement, who’ve already faced legal repercussions for their use of excessive force against protesters throughout the year.

“My son was murdered in cold blood by a coward, who took an oath to protect and serve, and he didn’t,” said Tamala Payne, Goodson’s mother. “I want justice. I want that man under a jail cell.”

It was three plainclothes members of a US Marshal Task Force who confronted Goodson at his home as he held a Subway sandwich and pair of keys, inspiring organizers of the protest to pass out sandwiches and keys to the crowd as symbols of his innocence.

Later in the evening, the hundreds who showed up to rally took to the streets marching through downtown Columbus. While the march was mostly tame, instances of protesters smearing paint in front of the Statehouse were reported. Solidarity protests for Goodson were also held in New York City and Minneapolis over the weekend.

Since initial coverage of Goodson’s death, details of the scene and 911 calls made by his family have surfaced, painting a more vivid picture of the events that took place. “Somebody breaks into the house and shot my cousin,” a woman is heard saying to dispatchers. “There’s two people that look like police. I don’t even know if they really police…”

“My grandson just got shot in the back as he came in the house,” said Goodson’s grandmother in a separate 911 call. “He’s not a bad kid. He doesn’t have a police record. He works. I don’t know what happened.”

Protesters Disrupt Church Congregation

On the following Sunday, five protesters disrupted a service at Rosedale Baptist Church, where Deputy Jason Meade is pastor. One protester stood to address the congregation and condemn Meade as a murderer, igniting an argument between the parties.

Two sheriffs arrived at the scene after churchgoers reported property destruction, although it was later proven to be a fabrication. Meade was not present, as disruption of the service was already anticipated, and the protesters were let go with a criminal trespass warning.

Meade’s attorney holds that his client was acting in self-defense, despite all evidence pointing to the fact that the deputy was the aggressor, shooting a man at his own home. While federal law enforcement continues the investigation into Goodson’s death, public pressure to charge his killer grows.


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