U.S. Attorney David DeVillers says that his office, along with the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department and the Cincinnati field office of the FBI, will “review the facts and evidence” surrounding the shooting of 23-year old Casey Goodson, Jr. in Columbus, Ohio.
The announcement came a day after the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said that the state agency would not investigate Goodson’s death because the Columbus PD waited for three days to make their request, “after CPD processed & cleared the scene, after the first round of witnesses were interviewed, after the canvass.”
The AG went on to say that the BCI does “these tough investigations all the time—but from the beginning. This one belongs to Columbus PD.”
Well, now it belongs to the feds as well as the Columbus PD, though I wonder if the DOJ and FBI will suffer from the same issues that led to Ohio’s BCI stepping away from the case. At the very least, I would expect a full round of interviews with those involved as well as autopsy report on Goodson, which has not yet been released. Was Goodson shot in the back as he was trying to enter the family home or was he shot after he refused to drop a handgun?
“My grandson just got shot in the back when he came in the house,” Goodson’s grandmother told a dispatcher Friday, according to 911 recordings obtained by The Associated Press. “I don’t know if he’s OK.”
Goodson had just gone to the dentist, she told the dispatcher, and she didn’t know what had happened or who shot him…
The deputy, Jason Meade, a 17-year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, had been assigned to a U.S. Marshals Office fugitive task force. The task force had just finished an unsuccessful search for a fugitive Friday afternoon when Goodson, who was not the suspect, drove by and waved a gun at Meade, according to U.S. Marshal Peter Tobin.
Meade confronted him outside Goodson’s vehicle in front of the man’s home, Tobin said.
One witness heard Meade command Goodson to drop his gun, and when he didn’t, the deputy shot him, Tobin said. Goodson was taken to a hospital, where he died.
But attorneys for Goodson’s family say that he was shot while walking in his home, and that his grandmother and two toddlers, who were not his own children, witnessed the shooting.
Those are two wildly different stories, but investigators won’t have any body camera or dashcam footage to review because Deputy Meade wasn’t equipped with either on Friday when he shot Goodson. A spokesman with the Franklin County coroner says that results of the autopsy won’t be released to the public for six to eight weeks, but law enforcement won’t have to wait that long to review the physical evidence.
On Tuesday evening Goodson’s childhood friend Seth Townes, who plays for the Ohio State University basketball team, took a knee before OSU’s game against Notre Dame, posting a picture of him with the caption “Justice for Casey Goodson.” Activists across Ohio, meanwhile, are preparing for a protest outside of the Franklin County Courthouse on Friday, with the intent of raising awareness of Goodson’s death. I’ll be very interested to see how many Second Amendment supporters are a part of those protests, given Goodson’s status as a legal gun owner and concealed carry holder. Here’s hoping for a large and peaceful gathering in support of Goodson and his family.