COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Franklin County Sheriff, Dallas Baldwin, says the assistant who shot Casey Goodson Jr. is leaving the sheriff’s office due to incapacity.
Sheriff Baldwin made the following statement on Friday afternoon:
My office has learned that Jason Meade has decided to leave the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office effective July 2, 2021 for a disability pension. Law enforcement decisions about disability are governed by state law and made by the pension system. As a sheriff, I have no control or influence over what the pension system decides in this or any other disability case.
Sheriff Dallas Baldwin
An attorney for Goodson’s family said he was disappointed that Baldwin did not fire Meade before he could retire. Meade has been on paid administrative leave since the shooting, with charges pending.
“The news that Meade has decided to retire calms Casey’s family a little,” said Columbus attorney Sean Walton. “He will no longer pose a threat to the people of Franklin County.
“Casey’s family continues to stand up for Meade’s charges and arrest for murder. His sudden resignation shows that he understands that he will soon be held accountable for his actions. “
The death of 23-year-old Goodson was the first in a series of deadly shootings by law enforcement officers in the Columbus area – including Andre ‘Hill, Miles Jackson and Ma’Khia Bryant – that sparked protests across the city.
Meade was just returning from an assignment with the Marshal’s fugitive task force in a neighborhood up north of Columbus when he saw Goodson in a vehicle. It is unclear why Meade was persecuting Goodson, a resident who lived nearby and was unrelated to the Marshal’s activities. US Marshal Peter Tobin initially said Goodson waved a gun at Meade as he drove past, but later withdrew that statement, saying he had “insufficient information” and that Meade was no longer on duty with the Marshals at the time of the shooting and accordingly acted his own.
Meade followed Goodson back to the residence on the 3900 block of Estates Place. Meade’s attorney said Goodson aimed a gun at Meade and failed to follow instructions to drop the gun before the shooting, and also that at least one witness confirmed that statement. Meade was not wearing a body camera at the time.
Goodson’s mother, Tamala Payne, and a family lawyer said Goodson returned from the dentist with subway sandwiches and unlocked the door when he was shot dead on the door.
Meade’s attorney said a gun was found at Goodson’s. But his mother said that Goodson, who had no criminal background, was licensed to legally carry a hidden weapon and that he took the responsibility so seriously that he wanted to become a CCW instructor.
The final autopsy report showed that Goodson was shot six times, five times in the back, and once in the buttocks.
Who should oversee the investigation was initially confused. The shooting occurred in the Columbus city limits, to which the Columbus police responded, but the state Bureau of Criminal Investigation – which usually handles law enforcement shootings – declined a request for involvement because it was contacted too late. Instead, the Columbus Police Department continued the criminal investigation and the FBI launched a civil rights investigation, with the US Attorney’s Office being appointed Special Attorney due to a transition in Franklin County’s attorneys.
Columbus police reported that they had completed a preliminary grand jury package by Jan. 14, but federal grand juries did not resume regular sessions until March due to the pandemic.
Meade, a 17-year-old member of the Sheriff’s Office, has been on leave since Goodson’s death. He served with the Marines in Iraq and was also a pastor of Rosedale Freewill Baptist Church. According to his personnel file, he had been a SWAT member since 2014 and one of several deputies who shot and killed an armed murder suspect in Pike County in 2018. A grand jury acquitted the MPs of wrongdoing. Meade was also reprimanded once for using his taser and not notifying a supervisor.
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