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A peaceful community vigil in Columbus, Ohio, with a diverse group of individuals holding candles. The soft glow of candlelight illuminates their faces, casting a warm ambiance over the scene. In the background, the cityscape of Columbus is subtly visible, adding context to the gathering. This image symbolizes unity, remembrance, and the collective mourning for Casey Goodson Jr., reflecting the community's solidarity and desire for justice.
A community vigil in Columbus Ohio symbolizing unity and remembrance for Casey Goodson Jr

In the heart of Columbus, a mother’s quest for justice after her son’s tragic shooting begins a pivotal trial.

By Darius Spearman (africanelements)

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Columbus, Ohio – The trial against former Franklin County Sheriff’s deputy Jason Meade has finally begun, after over three years since the tragic shooting of Casey Goodson Jr. outside his grandmother’s house on December 4, 2020. Meade faces two counts of murder and one count of reckless homicide, with jury selection extending into Monday night (SOURCE: 10TV).

Incident Background

While working on the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team, Meade was serving an arrest warrant unrelated to Goodson. The defense claims Goodson brandished a weapon at deputies, which Goodson’s family disputes, stating he was merely entering his grandmother’s house with a bag of sandwiches at the time. Notably, the officers lacked body cameras, leaving no video evidence of the incident.

Family’s Stance

Tamala Payne, Goodson’s mother, expressed a mixture of anticipation and sorrow as the trial progresses, hoping for closure and the beginning of the grieving process. Goodson, who had a conceal carry permit, was legally armed at the time of the shooting, adding layers to the family’s quest for justice.

After over three years since Casey Goodson Jr.’s fatal shooting, the trial of former deputy Jason Meade has begun. Meade faces charges for Goodson’s death, which occurred under contentious circumstances. Tamala Payne, Goodson’s mother, shared her feelings:

“I tell people all the time, I don’t allow myself to feel the loss of Casey because I’m afraid if I feel I won’t be able to fight. The feeling will take over the fight,” (SOURCE: 10TV).

Legal Proceedings

Meade’s legal team unsuccessfully sought to move the trial to federal court, arguing he was acting as a federal agent during the incident. However, a judge ruled the case would remain in state court. Opening statements are anticipated to start next Tuesday, with Meade currently out on bond.

Community Impact

The trial’s commencement marks a pivotal moment for the community, seeking answers and accountability in a case that has lingered in public consciousness. As the trial unfolds, it promises to be a focal point for discussions on law enforcement accountability and the mechanisms of justice.

About the author:

Darius Spearman is a Professor of Black Studies at San Diego City College, where he has been pursuing his love of teaching since 2007. He is the author of several books, including Between The Color Lines: A History of African Americans on the California Frontier Through 1890. See more black news and history content at