Federal authorities have launched an investigation after a sheriff’s deputy working for a fugitive task force shot and killed a Black man trying to enter his own home in Columbus, Ohio, last week.
The victim, Casey Goodson, 23, was fatally shot three times in the back on Friday by an officer of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, identified as deputy Jason Meade, CNN reports.
Meade was working for the US Marshal’s fugitive task force looking for violent offenders at the time, but Goodson was not the person being sought by the task force, Columbus Police said.
Goodson had put his keys into his door before he was shot and fell into the kitchen, where his 5-year-old brother and his 72-year-old grandmother saw him lying on the ground with a Subway sandwich, family attorney Sean Walton told CNN.
Goodson, an Ohio concealed carry permit holder, was legally armed at the time of the shooting, according to the Columbus Division of Police. Goodson was not alleged to have committed any crimes, has no criminal background and was not the target of any investigation, according to authorities.
During the US Marshal’s task force operation in Columbus, Meade reported seeing a man with a gun and was investigating the situation when there was reportedly a verbal exchange prior to the shooting, the Columbus Division of Police said.
According to police, no other officers witnessed the shooting, no civilian eyewitnesses have been identified and there is no body camera footage of the actual shooting because Franklin County Sheriff’s task force officers aren’t issued body cameras.
The shooting has left the Black community in Columbus reeling, and rallies calling for justice in Goodson’s case are set for Friday and Saturday in Columbus.
Local civil rights activists say police brutality against Black people in this central Ohio city is nothing new.
Among the Black men and teens killed by Columbus police in recent years were Julius Tate, a 16-year-old who was fatally shot by an officer in December 2018 during a sting operation; Kareem Ali Nadir Jones, a 30-year-old who was fatally shot by officers in July 2017; Tyre King, a 13-year-old killed by police in September 2016; and Henry Green, a 23-year-old shot dead by plainclothes officers in June 2016.
Movement for Black Lives leaders said they believe Goodson was “executed.”
“A crisis of this magnitude calls for a massive realignment of power,” said Chelsea Fuller, a Columbus-based spokeswoman for the Movement for Black Lives. “That realignment can and will happen through defunding the police, reducing their bloated budgets, and re-investing those resources in the creation of new systems of public safety that account for all lives, not just some.”
Yakita said Black residents feel exhausted, especially after joining the nation in protesting police brutality and racism all summer.
“We are feeling helplessness, hopelessness and hurt,” Yakita said. “It’s like we did all of that for nothing.”
Columbus’ racial tension goes beyond policing. Black residents say the town’s history of redlining, segregation and gentrification of Black neighborhoods has also been a boiling point.