COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio released a new statement Wednesday regarding the shooting death of Casey Goodson Jr.
The statement from U.S. Attorney David M. DeVillers reads:
“As the United States pursues a full and fair investigation into the death of Casey Goodson, Jr., I want to make clear that there is one criminal investigation underway through the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio. It is a joint criminal civil rights investigation being conducted by the FBI, the Columbus Division of Police, and the Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General. We are working in partnership with the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office. We are obligated to follow the facts wherever they may lead. I have been in contact with current Franklin County Prosecutor, Ron O’Brien, and incoming Franklin County Prosecutor, Gary Tyack. We are in agreement that the facts and the law could lead to federal charges, to state charges, or to no charges at all. This is an ongoing investigation and no determination of whether any charges—federal or state—are warranted has been made.
Our goal is to conduct a thorough and accurate investigation without compromising the integrity and legitimacy of the investigation. This means we must balance the public’s interest in the investigation with a potential defendant’s right to a fair trial. Disclosing information prematurely or releasing potentially challenged evidence could severely jeopardize the investigation and any possible prosecution.
I met with the family of Mr. Goodson last week and I explained this delicate and critical balance. Mr. Goodson’s family made it clear that they are putting their trust in us to discharge our responsibilities fully and fairly. We intend to do everything in our power to honor that trust.”David M. DeVillers
Columbus police are conducting an investigation into the shooting itself.
Goodson’s death has drawn attention in the community and nationally. Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther blasted a marshal’s comment shortly after the shooting that it was justified; U.S. Marshal Peter Tobin later called those remarks premature.
Demonstrators marched for two nights last week demanding justice for Goodson. His mother, Tamala Payne, has called for Meade to charged with murder and stripped of his badge.
According to information from law enforcement, Meade’s operation was wrapping up when Goodson drove past. Several officers followed Goodson. A verbal altercation followed, and Meade’s attorney said that Goodson pointed a weapon at Meade before Meade fired.
Goodson’s family and attorneys say that Goodson, 23, was returning home when he was shot from behind while trying to enter his residence. His death was witnessed by several family members, including two children.