COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The mother of Casey Goodson Jr., the man shot to death last week by a Franklin County Sheriff’s deputy, is speaking out on her son’s behalf.
“I want murder charges,” Goodson’s mother, Tamala Payne, told NBC4 on Wednesday afternoon. “I want (the deputy’s) badge taken. I want him prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
“If it was us, we’d be in jail by now. But because it was an officer, I have to wait months upon months and weeks upon weeks for my son’s death to be avenged.”
Goodson died Friday after being shot by Deputy Jason Meade, who was on assignment with the U.S. Marshal’s Service fugitive task force in the Northland area. Goodson was not related to the marshal’s operations.
An attorney working for Goodson’s family, Sean Walton, expressed frustration with the early stages of the investigation into Goodson’s death. It was offered by Columbus police to the state Bureau of Criminal Investigations, which said it wouldn’t get involved since it was invited to come in days after the shooting.
“This investigation is being led by people who believe that officers act correctly almost all of the time,” Walton said.
Payne and Walton also were frustrated by initial reports by officers that the shooting was justified, especially considering that versions of what happened differ from police accounts and Goodson’s family.
According to police, as the marshals operations were wrapping up, Goodson drove past them waving a gun. Several officers followed him, and when they caught up to him, commanded him to drop the weapon. After a verbal exchange, Meade fired at Goodson.
The Franklin County coroner reported Wednesday that Goodson was struck several times in his torso.
In their version, Goodson’s relatives said he was returning home from a dentist’s appointment with Subway sandwiches. He was shot and killed as he unlocked his door and entered his home. His death was witnessed by Goodson’s 72-year-old grandmother and two toddlers who were near the door.
Police and Goodson’s family both say Goodson had a permit to carry a concealed weapon (CCW), and Payne said that her son wanted to become a CCW instructor.
Walton said, “I get so upset when somebody asks why did Casey have a gun? Casey wanted to protect his family. That was his right. Casey was brave because he took on that weight of having a CCW knowing that he may die.”
Walton said that Goodson willingly put himself at increased risk by carrying a concealed weapon as a Black man.
“Black people deserve the right to be able to protect themselves in this country,” Walton said, “because nobody else protects us.”
Columbus police and the FBI are investigating the shooting, and the results of their investigation will be turned over the Franklin County prosecutor’s office for presentation to a grand jury.
On Wednesday, Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin issued a statement expressing sympathy for Goodson’s survivors as well as for Meade, and asking that the investigation be allowed to play out.
“I’m deeply praying for the family of Mister Goodson. This is a tragic time, and this is a tragic loss,” Baldwin said. “And I’m also praying for Deputy Meade and his family, because there has been a rush to judgment by some, even before the investigation has been completed.”
For Payne, she said she wants to fight for justice for her son and for people to know about him in different ways, as the animal lover that he was and as a good brother.
“It just hurts,” she said. “It hurts because we’re never going to have that again. We’re never going to see his funny side or get to watch him dance with his siblings, because he loved to dance and make videos.