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Ohio Moms Demand Action, Students Demand Action Respond to Police Shooting of Casey Goodson Jr. in Columbus

December 8, 2020

The Ohio chapter of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement after police shot and killed Casey Goodson Jr., a Black 23-year-old in Columbus. According to WOSU, Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Meade shot and killed Goodson at the door of his house while his family was inside, including five adults and four children. According to the family’s lawyers, “Casey was shot and killed as he unlocked his door and entered his home” and “his death was witnessed by his 72-year-old Grandmother and two toddlers who were near the door.” Goodson’s 5-year-old brother also witnessed him lying on the kitchen floor after he was shot.

“Yet another Black man has been taken by police gun violence, and another family is left traumatized and without answers,” said Shela Blanchard, a volunteer with the Ohio chapter of Moms Demand Action. “Our thoughts are with Casey’s family and friends as they mourn, and we join with them in demanding answers, accountability, and long-awaited change to a system that allows too many deaths at the hands of those who are sworn to protect and serve.”  

Several Ohio lawmakers spoke out Monday about Goodson’s death, including the Columbus City Council and U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty, who joined calls for “accountability and seeking justice for his senseless killing.” 

Research suggests that implementing specific use-of-force policies can save lives. One 2016 study of 91 large police departments found that the adoption of use-of-force reform policies was associated with fewer police-involved killings. Other policies in the study include de-escalation by ensuring that other means are considered prior to shooting, prohibiting chokeholds, establishing a duty to intervene, warning before shooting, and restrictions on shootings at moving vehicles. 

Meaningful use of force policies encourage de-escalation, utilize early intervention systems, and ensure that officers who break the law are held accountable. Use of force policies like these help advance safety and promote trust in the police.

Black people in the United States are nearly three times more likely to be shot and killed by law enforcement than their white counterparts, and data from Mapping Police Violence shows that most people killed by police are killed with guns and that 99% of killings by the police from 2013-2019 did not result in officers being charged with a crime. In Ohio, police shot and killed 210 people between 2009-2016. More than 38.2% of unarmed individuals shot by police since 2013 in Ohio were Black, despite African Americans only comprising 12.2% of Ohio’s population.

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