Mother of Casey Goodson Jr. demands justice as FBI opens investigation into fatal police shooting

The sheriff's office claims Goodson waived a gun at them.

December 09, 2020, 2:24 PM

The family of Casey Goodson Jr. is calling for justice after the 23-year-old was shot dead while entering his home on Dec. 4 in Columbus, Ohio.

Goodson was fatally shot by Franklin County Sheriff’s Office deputy Jason Meade, but the details of what led up to the shooting differ between the authorities and Goodson's family. Meade, who had been taking part in an unsuccessful search for a fugitive along with the U.S. Marshals Service, said Goodson -- who was not the target of the search -- waved a gun at him when he drove by his police car. Meade confronted Goodson outside his home, and he refused to drop his gun, U.S. Marshal Peter Tobin said at a press conference last Friday.

But Goodson's family said he was returning from a dentist appointment and had a Subway sandwich in his hand, according to family co-counsel Sean L. Walton.

"Casey had the screen door open and his keys in the door, and Deputy Jason Meade fired shots at Casey," Walton told ABC News on Tuesday. "He fell into the house, where he lay in his kitchen."

The preliminary cause of death was multiple gunshot wounds to the torso, the Franklin County Coroner's Office said in a statement Wednesday. However, the coroner said she cannot determine the direction of the bullets without further investigation, ABC Columbus affiliate WSYX reported.

Goodson's mother, Tamala Payne, told ABC News she was at work when she heard her son had been shot.

"[Meade] took an oath to serve and protect and clearly that's not what he does. ... Therefore, I want justice for my son," Payne told ABC News.

"My 5-year-old called me, crying and screaming, 'Mommy, Casey just got shot,'" said Payne, who added that the child witnessed Goodson's death.

Police said a gun was found at the scene, but Goodson's family said he was a legal gun owner.

According to a statement released by the Columbus Police Department, many facts about the incident will remain unknown until the investigation is completed. The Columbus Police Department is investigating the shooting, as the sheriff's office does not look into fatal shootings by its own deputies.

PHOTO: Casey Goodson, 23, of Columbus, Ohio, pictured in an undated handout photo, was shot and killed by a Franklin County Sheriff's deputy on Dec. 4, 2020.
Casey Goodson, 23, of Columbus, Ohio, pictured in an undated handout photo, was shot and killed by a Franklin County Sheriff's deputy on Dec. 4, 2020.
Family of Casey Goodson

There is no police video of the shooting, because Franklin County Sheriff's task force officers are not issued body cameras.

Meade is a 17-year veteran of the sheriff's office, but he had been permanently assigned to work with the U.S. Marshals Service, according to WSYX.

"What I believe in my heart happened is that Casey was murdered in cold blood for being a Black man," said Payne. "[The deputy] deserves to be in jail. He deserves to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

"The deputy sheriff's office and whoever else is involved needs to take proper steps in ensuring that their deputies are trained properly," she added.

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown tweeted Monday that Goodson was "yet another young Black man who should be alive today" and called for a full investigation into his death.

"We stand with Sen. Brown in saying that this is unfortunately another Black life lost, but it has to stop," Walton told ABC News Live. "Casey enjoyed exercising his right to carry a gun, and we are not sure what happened that day, but no allegations of wrongdoing have been made. Casey was a law-abiding citizen."

PHOTO: Casey Goodson, 23, of Columbus, Ohio, pictured in an undated handout photo, was shot and killed by a Franklin County Sheriff's deputy on Dec. 4, 2020.
Casey Goodson, 23, of Columbus, Ohio, pictured in an undated handout photo, was shot and killed by a Franklin County Sheriff's deputy on Dec. 4, 2020.
Family of Casey Goodson

On Tuesday, U.S. Attorney David M. DeVillers announced that the U.S. Attorneys Office and the FBI will review Goodson's death.

The civil rights division of the Department of Justice, the Cincinnati division of the FBI and the Columbus Police Department will review whether any federal civil rights laws were violated, according to a statement.

DeVillers said federal authorities will "take appropriate action if the evidence indicates any federal civil rights laws were violated."

"The family is demanding an immediate answer as to what happened that caused the deputy to choose to take Casey's life," Walton said.

Payne said that she will continue to be her son's voice throughout the process.

"My son, as I've stated a thousand times, was an amazing little boy. And he was still a little boy because he is always going to be my baby," Payne said. "Just knowing that Jason Meade took his voice, he no longer has one. Therefore, I am his voice and I know that I have to be his voice. ... I have to stand up for my son because, if I don't, no one else will."

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