Opinion: Casey Goodson’s Family Finally Getting Justice


Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Goodson’s mother Tamala Payne with her attorney Sean Walton.

Natasha Pack, Staff Writer

In Columbus, Ohio on Dec. 4, 2020, Casey Goodson, Jr, 23, was shot five times in the back by a white county sheriff’s deputy as Goodson, who is Black, was entering his own grandmother’s house. Goodson’s family has said he was returning from a dental appointment with a Subway sandwich in his hand. The man who shot Goodson, Jason Meade, was a member of the sheriff’s office for 17 years, and also worked as a member of the U.S. Marshals Service task force tracking and arresting local, state, and federal fugitives.

Why, you may ask, would Meade, a white man, shoot Goodson, a young black man, five times in the back for holding a sandwich? Is racism the reason, or was Meade just “doing his job”? AP News says the murder is “still largely unexplained and involved no body camera or dash cam footage.”  

There are many people I would like to interview about why Meade opened fire. I would first talk to Meade himself, who was charged with homicide on Dec. 2, 2021, nearly a year to the day of Goodson’s killing, then to members of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office where Meade worked (he has since retired). Another person I’d like to speak with is Peter Tobin, a spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service, because it was while Meade, in his capacity as a marshal, was searching for a fugitive that he encountered Goodson, an individual unrelated to the search. According to the Associated Press (AP), Tobin initially said Meade confronted Goodson after Goodson drove by and waved a gun at the deputy, but he later withdrew those comments, saying they’d been based on ‘insufficient information.’” 

To determine whether Goodson’s murder was racially motivated, I would like to get more intel on this case, which has led to racial justice protests and the filing of a federal civil rights lawsuit by Goodson’s family, who have expressed “joy” at Meade’s indictment for murder. Goodson’s mother, “It’s been a year of sadness, it’s been a year of grief, it’s been a year of pain,” said Tamala Payne, Goodson’s mother. “But I know that every day of this year, that my family and I wake up and just fight for what’s right.”