Mother says Casey Goodson had dreams that were ripped away when he was fatally shot by deputy sheriff #Breaking112
“The kid had a whole life ahead of him,” Tamala Payne told CNN’s Don Lemon, adding that he was saving up to go into business for himself. “He had plans, he had dreams, he had goals, and they were ripped from him for nothing.”
Goodson, 23, was fatally shot on Friday by a 17-year veteran of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, identified as deputy Jason Meade. Authorities are investigating what happened that day, as there was no body camera footage and Goodson was not being sought by law enforcement at the time.
Goodson, an Ohio concealed carry permit holder, was legally armed at the time of the shooting, according to the Columbus Division of Police. Goodson, who was Black, was not alleged to have committed any crimes, has no criminal background and was not the target of any investigation, family attorney Sean Walton told CNN.
Payne said her son stopped at Subway on his way home from the dentist to get sandwiches for himself, his 5-year-old brother and his 72-year-old grandmother. He was fatally shot as he entered their home.
“His body fell into the house with the sandwiches, with the bullet holes …” said his mother. “If my son was given a command, he would have listened.”
The Franklin County Coroner’s Office on Wednesday said the manner of death, based on autopsy and medical death investigation findings, was homicide though a final report was 12 to 14 weeks away.
“Cause of death, at this time is preliminary; we are awaiting medical records as well as the toxicology report,” Dr. Anahi M. Ortiz, in a statement, said of the autopsy performed on Tuesday. “However, based on current findings, cause of death is multiple gunshot wounds to the torso.”
Payne and Walton described Goodson as law-abiding and peaceful.
“Casey was a person who did everything right, and so what happened that day that caused the deputy to take the life of a Black man as he walked into his own home?” Walton asked.
Columbus Police investigators are examining whether Meade was legally justified in shooting Goodson, and the US Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio and the FBI are launching a federal civil rights investigation.
“This offers the highest level of transparency and a clear path to the truth,” Columbus Police Chief Thomas Quinlan said.
Task force looking for violent offenders, not Goodson
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.
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.
CNN reached out to the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office for comment but has not yet heard back.
Rallies set for later this week
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.
Law enforcement in Columbus has long had a strained relationship with the Black community because of its past shootings of young Black men and aggressive policing in Black neighborhoods, said Kiara Yakita, founder of the Black Liberation Movement of Central Ohio.
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 reinvesting 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.”
Morgan Harper, a local community activist, said police in Columbus have a history of treating Black people differently.
“It’s depressing, really,” Harper said. “And I think people were already feeling vulnerable that we can’t feel protected in our own communities. That young Black men and Black women, we face an undo level of risk just living.”
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.
Columbus is the fourth most economically segregated metro area in the country, according to a study the University of Toronto. The city is 59% White and 28% Black.
Federal and local authorities investigate
Even though the shooting did not involve a Columbus Police officer, the Columbus Police Critical Incident Response Team is the primary agency investigating the shooting because it occurred in Columbus.
Once Columbus Police completes its investigation, the evidence will be turned over to the Franklin County Prosecutor to be presented to a grand jury, police said.
Columbus Police had on Monday attempted to turn over the investigation to the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), the state agency that typically investigates police-involved shootings. But the BCI announced that they would not be able to accept the case because of an unexplained delay in the request.
“We received a referral to take a three-day old officer-involved shooting case. Not knowing all the reasons as to why so much time has passed before the case was referred to BCI, we cannot accept this case,” a spokesperson for the Attorney General’s Office said.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said that the BCI has a memorandum of understanding with Columbus Police that says the state agency should be the first call after a police shooting.
“BCI is the first call because we cannot be the subject matter experts unless we’re on scene from the beginning to document the evidence of what happened from the start,” Yost said in a statement Monday. “Three days later after the crime scene has been dismantled and the witness(es) have all dispersed does not work.”
Columbus Police said Chief Quinlan’s interest in having BCI involved in the case was “based solely on reassuring the public of maximum independence in the investigation of this tragedy.” The department added that the Attorney General’s decision to not take the case has not interrupted the investigation.
CNN’s Ray Sanchez, Rebekah Riess, Nicquel Terry Ellis, Hollie Silverman, Amir Vera, Peter Nickeas and Devon Sayers contributed to this report.