“I want murder charges,” Goodson’s mother, Tamala Payne, told NewsNation affiliate WCMH Wednesday afternoon. “I want (the deputy’s) badge taken. I want him prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
The U.S. Department of Justice and the FBI said Tuesday that they will conduct a civil rights investigation into the shooting.
“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,” Payne continued.
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 of Columbus. 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.
In an autopsy report released earlier Wednesday, the Franklin County coroner reported that Meade was struck several times in his torso.
“Based on findings from the autopsy and medical death investigation, manner of death is homicide. Cause of death, at this time is preliminary; we are awaiting medical records as well as the toxicology report,” Franklin County Coroner Dr. Anahi Ortiz said in a statement.
The final autopsy report is expected to take 12 to 14 weeks.
NewsNation reporter Dan Pearlman pressed Dr. Ortiz for information about whether the shots entered the front or back of Goodson’s body. Ortiz responded that she was not able to do so at this time.
U.S. Attorney David M. DeVillers said he talked to Dr. Ortiz Wednesday morning.
“In order for Dr. Ortiz to be accurate, she has to have all information needed,” said DeVillers. “This includes toxicology reports as well as medical records from the hospital’s attempt to save Mr. Goodson’s life. This will take some time and we do not expect final detailed findings for approx. 12 weeks. In the meantime, this investigation continues.”
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. It hurts.”
The Columbus Division of Police issued a statement Wednesday afternoon saying that the investigation is ongoing.
“The investigation by Columbus Division of Police Critical Incident Response Team continues, and Columbus Police will share information as we are able. Many of the facts of this shooting will not be known until the investigation is completed,” the statement reads, in part.
CPD says they have not identified any civilian eyewitnesses to the shooting. They ask anyone who may have seen something to call CPD Homicide at 614-645-4730.
Statements made by representatives of other agencies involved in the Friday Task Force operation were viewpoints expressed by those not involved and without knowledge of the investigation. Columbus Police are conducting the investigation. We have not predetermined the outcome of the investigation. Our commitment is to follow the evidence. That is what we owe the family of Casey Goodson, and the community we serve.
As with all criminal investigations, some investigative information is protected and will not be released until the investigation and legal process have concluded. This is to maintain the integrity of the investigation, to ensure an accurate, untainted outcome, and to protect the interests of everyone impacted by this tragedy.COLUMBUS DIVISION OF POLICE
NewsNation affiliate WCMH contributed to this report