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Casey Goodson Jr.’s family knows they cannot bring back the young Black man who was killed by police last year. However, they are cheered by the recent charges of both murder and homicide for the police officer who fatally shot the innocent Black man five times in December 2020. 

Goodson Jr., of Columbus, Ohio, was shot and killed while entering his grandmother’s home late last year. There were nine people in the home at the time of his murder, including four young children.

The Goodson family members have been mourning for the past year since Goodson Jr.’s untimely death. The family’s attorney, Sean Walton, released the following statement, “Since that day, they’ve had to deal with this daily sadness and grief for nearly a year. So this day could not come soon enough. But they stayed strong, they never wavered, and they told the truth. And the truth will prevail in this case.”

The former law enforcement officer, Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Meade, initially claimed that Goodson Jr. waved a firearm at him before he fatally shot Goodson Jr. in the back. However, official records in the case dispute his claim, along with his insistence that he feared for his life during the interaction. 

Former Deputy Meade faces two counts of murder and one count of reckless homicide. He turned himself in to law enforcement this week and maintains his innocence.  

Meade’s attorney, Mark C. Collins, noted that his client plans to plead not guilty and stated that Meade “acted within his lawful duties as an officer of the law when he pursued Goodson.” Collins continued, stating that Meade felt “fear for his life as well as those inside the house.”

Now, the Goodson family may finally receive some closure. Tamala Payne, Goodson Jr.’s mother, reacted strongly to the charges of murder, stating, “I’m overwhelmed with joy. My emotions are everywhere. We did it y’all. We did it.”

Goodson Jr. was just 23 years old at the time of his murder. He was a devoted family member who was close with his entire extended clan. “Casey was a good son. He was a loving son. Casey was a good grandson. Casey was a good brother, a good role model,” said his mother, Ms. Payne. 

Despite being mired in grief, Ms. Payne vows to continue her pursuit of justice for her son. “This was the first part of the fight. The ultimate fight is the conviction, and I want a life sentence; that’s what I’m fighting for.”

Erika Stone is a graduate student in the Master of Social Work program at the University of Oklahoma, and a graduate assistant at Schusterman Library. A Chess Memorial Scholar, she has a B.A. in Psychology...