Columbus, OH — Casey Christopher Goodson Jr., 23, had no criminal record, was not wanted by police, and was bringing his grandmother lunch, when he was gunned down by Franklin County Sheriff's deputy, Jason Meade who was working with a U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force. His grandmother and Goodson's 5-year-old brother watched Goodson die in front of them — their Subway sandwiches lying in a pool of blood. Now, nearly a year after he killed Goodson, Meade has been indicted for murder.
Saturday will mark the one-year anniversary of Goodson's death. In July, Meade was allowed to retire.
"The indictment was not a surprise, nor was the timing," Mark Collins, Meade's police union appointed attorney said. "We intend to vigorously defend him and make sure he receives all the due process rights afforded to him under the Constitution."
The news was music to the ears of Goodson's mother, however, who posted Thursday morning on her Facebook page, in all capital letters and multiple exclamation points: "2 counts of murder and reckless homicide! Let's go! Justice for Casey baby! To God be the glory!"
Immediately after the indictment, Goodson's family filed a federal lawsuit against the department. As the Columbus Dispatch reports:
The lawsuit alleges that Meade received significantly more training in firearms use and expertise than in any other area, including de-escalation, and that the training was completed in such a way that there was an apparent lack of review or supervision of the training. The lawsuit said Meade's records at the sheriff's office showed he last received de-escalation training in 2014 and completed the training in under four minutes.
Goodson's estate also call Meade a "religious zealot" in the lawsuit, saying he derived pleasure from being engaged in physical combat. "Jason Meade finds happiness in exercising force," the lawsuit said.
As we reported earlier this year, Meade has a background as a pastor. But unlike most pastors who teach Jesus Christ's philosophy of turning the other cheek, Meade preached to strike first and ask questions later.
In a YouTube video series for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office called “Connecting with the Community," Meade gave a sermon at the the Ohio State Association of Free Will Baptists in 2018. During that sermon, this killer cop said, “I learned long ago why I’m justified in throwing the first punch. Don’t look up here like ‘Oh police brutality’.”
Meade reiterated his stance on preemptively striking those he "hunted" several times.
While telling the church goers that he was a cop, Meade said, “I work for the Sheriff’s office… I hunt people – it’s a great job, I love it. I got a bunch of my SWAT members here and even my bosses are here, I appreciate ‘em coming out, they’re good men of god. I’m glad they came out to support us today, but they’ll let you know, I worked this job 14 years, you know I ain’t never been hit clean in the face one time?”
He clarifies, “It’s a fact. It ain’t cuz I’m so good, I ain’t bad, it ain’t cuz I’m so good. You know why? I learned long ago I gotta throw the first punch.”
Meade adds, “Hahahaha yeah, every time I hit ‘em and I’m like that’s for you, that’s for you [referring to the audience]. It’s not that bad, I’m kidding. But listen, this is the truth.”
When a preacher gives a sermon about throwing the first punch, people should know well enough to walk out but Meade wasn't just a preacher. He is also a cop — and when cops talk about throwing the first punch, they should not be cops.
Despite Meade's entire chain of command knowing, being at, and hearing this sermon, it was never brought into question. Two years later, he would throw that first punch in the form a multiple bullets into the body of Goodson.
Goodson, according to an attorney for the family, had not been alleged to have committed any crime, had no criminal background and was not the target of any investigation. Nevertheless, he was wrongly targeted by police and gunned down.
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Police claim Goodson pulled a gun on them — as he brought three Subway sandwiches to his grandmother and two toddlers, while unlocking the door — and the deputy was forced to fire on him.
Though claiming to find a gun, in their statement, police admitted that they had no legitimate reason for approaching Goodson.
"The deputy was investigating the situation and there are reports of a verbal exchange. The deputy fired at Mr. Casey Goodson, resulting in his death," according to a sheriff's statement. "A gun was recovered from Mr. Goodson. Mr. Goodson was not the person being sought by the U.S. Marshals task force."
Attorneys for Goodson's family condemned the statement about Goodson pointing a gun, saying in a press release that "neither the City of Columbus nor any other investigatory agency has alleged that Casey Goodson pointed a gun before Meade pulled the trigger."
"With Meade's statement issued nearly one full week after he killed Casey, it is critical to note that this is a classic defense often claimed by police after they shoot and kill someone," they said. "It is also critical to remember that often the evidence does not support these claims."
According to Sean Walton, from the law firm of Walton and Brown, LLC, Goodson was licensed to carry a concealed weapon "and Ohio does not prohibit the open carrying of firearms."
It is indeed likely that Meade simply saw the completely legal and licensed gun, unjustly "feared for his life," and killed Goodson for no reason — especially if he thought he had to "throw the first punch."
“Casey was shot and killed as he unlocked his door and entered his home,” Watson said. “His death was witnessed by his 72-year-old grandmother and two toddlers who were near the door.”
Indeed, an autopsy backed up these claims and determined that Goodson was shot six times in his torso, with five of the bullets entering his back.
Though the sheriff's department "reported witnessing a man with a gun," Goodson was not that man. What's more, it makes no sense for Goodson to leave the dentist's office where he just had his teeth cleaned, pick up Subway for his family, and wave a gun out of his window on the way home. Goodson was a concealed carry permit holder. He had been through training and knew the ins and outs of carrying a firearm which do not include leaving the dentist, picking up lunch, and waving a gun out of your window.
“It doesn’t make sense,” Walton said. “Who drives down the street waving a gun out of the window? This isn’t a music video. This is real life.”
“There’s no reason or justification for why any of this happened,” Walton said. “He fell and died in his own kitchen.”
According to the family, the bags of sandwiches were on the ground next to his body after Meade killed him and they didn't see any gun.
Because deputies in this county are not required to wear body cameras, it is the cop's word against the family's.
Hopefully, justice is served in this trial.