June 21, 2021 22:13

Conflicting Accounts of Fatal Shooting Roil Columbus

In the moment before Casey Goodson Jr. was shot dead by a sheriff’s deputy in Columbus, Oh., at the entrance of his home, his lifelong neighbor heard a man shouting and a burst of gunfire. Andrew Weeks saw three men outside, at least one holding a rifle. He called the police, unaware that the three men — all in plain clothes — were law enforcement officers. Goodson, 23, was killed by sheriff’s deputy, Jason Meade, a member of a U.S. Marshals fugitive task force that had been looking for someone in an operation that had nothing to do with Goodson, reports the New York Times.

The Dec. 4 case, the latest in a series of police killings of Black men this year, has prompted hundreds to demonstrate and underscored tensions between the city’s Black community and authorities. “The whole situation is just completely out of control,” said Brenda Davis, who has lived across from Goodson’s home for 20 years and is secretary of the local NAACP. “We are hearing so many conflicting reports.” U.S. Marshal Peter Tobin says members of the task force saw Goodson waving a gun while he was driving his car. Meade, a 17-year Franklin County Sheriff’s Office veteran, gave chase. “That’s when the deputy … confronted him,” Tobin said, “and it went badly.” Meade’s lawyer, Mark Collins, said Goodson pointed a gun at Meade  Goodson’s family members said they did not see a gun near him after he was shot. Columbus police say a gun was “recovered from Mr. Goodson.” They have not said where the gun was found. There is no video footage of the confrontation. “He was just a Black man coming home from a dentist’s appointment. He didn’t do anything,” said his mother, Tamala Payne.

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