COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The time from when Andre’ Hill was fatally shot until former Columbus police officer Adam Coy was charged was 43 days.
It has now been 62 days since Casey Goodson Jr. — like Hill, a Black man not accused of any crime — was fatally shot on Dec. 4 by a law enforcement officer in Columbus, but there is no sign of when Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Meade may face any charges.
NBC4 reached out to law enforcement and prosecuting agencies on Wednesday and Thursday to see where the Goodson investigation stands.
A spokesperson for Columbus police reported that it sent a preliminary grand jury packet to the Franklin County prosecutor’s office on Jan. 14. And a representative of Prosecutor Gary Tyack said the matter is in the hands of U.S. Attorney David DeVillers, who has been appointed as a special prosecutor in the case.
The office for DeVillers, whose district includes the southern half of Ohio, declined a request for comment. However, charges against Meade would come from a federal grand jury, and those have not been convening in light of COVID-19.
The investigation is being handled jointly by Columbus police, the FBI, the federal Department of Justice and DeVillers’ office. Meade was coming off an assignment with the U.S. Marshal’s Service in north Columbus when he spotted Goodson, 23, in a car and followed him back to his residence before fatally shooting him. Meade’s attorney asserted that Goodson pointed a gun at Meade, while Goodson’s family said Goodson was unlocking a door at his family’s house when he was shot.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigations refused to get involved in the matter since it was not immediately contacted; the BCI did investigate Hill’s shooting. Special prosecutors were appointed in both the Hill and Goodson cases because of a change at the Franklin County Prosecutor’s office, with Tyack defeating incumbent Ron O’Brien during November’s election. Tyack took office in January.
Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost’s office handled the Hill case, presenting evidence to a Franklin County grand jury. And even with DeVillers, a federal attorney, handling the Goodson case, grand jury proceedings are secret.
The deaths of Goodson and Hill led to protests in Columbus of police violence against Blacks, and Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther decided to replace Police Chief Thomas Quinlan, who has returned to his former role of deputy chief.
Meade was placed on administrative leave by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.