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Once upon a time, in a nation where modern-day police evolved from slave patrol, a Black man was killed in front of his home. Line edit: too many times upon a time, a Black American was mistaken for something other than a human trying to make it home to their family and ended up the fatal victim of a police officer’s imagination.
The most recent character in the never-ending narrative of Black folks murdered by the state under questionable circumstances is Casey Goodson Jr., a 23-year-old Black man in Columbus, Ohio. He was killed by Franklin County Sheriff deputy Jason Meade as he was entering his home on December 4.
The details of the case are still unfolding, but what is known of the story thus far is the following: Casey was on his way home from a dental appointment when Meade, a 17-year veteran of the Franklin County Sheriff’s office who was working the U.S. Marshal’s fugitive task force for violent offenders, mistook Casey for a criminal perpetrator.
As Casey was putting his house keys into the door, Meade fired shots into his back, killing him in front of his 72-year-old grandmother and five-year-old little brother. Meade assumed Casey was entering the home wielding a weapon. The weapon in question was a sandwich from Subway.
Casey was a concealed carry permit holder and was legally armed when he was shot, CNN reported. It was also reported that Casey had no criminal history in his background and was not committing a crime at the time of his killing. Before Meade fired the lethal shots, a verbal altercation ensued between them.
Sean Walton, the family’s attorney, testimonies from eyewitnesses and physical evidence on the scene are raising questions of why Meade confronted Casey in the first place.
According to the heart-torn words of Casey’s mother, Tamala Payne told CNN, “He had plans, he had dreams, he had goals, and they were ripped from him for nothing.”
The DOJ has stepped in to investigate the details of Casey’s killing. One detail the department will not be able to uncover is the trauma of a grandmother and a little brother seeing their loved one gunned down in front of them, two weeks before Christmas.
Casey has become yet another blood-stained star atop a tree of holiday misery. Another missing gift recipient. Another muted carol in the mouths of his family, no longer able to sing praises to him that he can hear.
About the Author
Donney Rose is a poet, essayist, Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Fellow, advocate, and Chief Content Editor at The North Star. He believes in telling how it is and how it should be.