Ohio pastor who bragged about hunting people is charged in shooting death of Casey Goodson Jr.
The now-retired Ohio sheriff’s deputy/pastor who shot and killed 23-year-old Casey Goodson Jr. on Dec. 4, 2020 after earlier bragging to a congregation about being able to “hunt people” is finally facing charges, according to ABC News. Jason Meade shot Goodson in the back five times, netting him charges including two counts of murder and one count of reckless homicide Thursday. He has also faced continued criticism from protesters who have called into question the absence of footage from police body cameras or dash cameras in the shooting.
Activist Lance Cooper compared Meade to Derek Chauvin, the former cop convicted of murdering George Floyd when he kneeled on the Black father’s neck for more than nine minutes. “There are many Derek Chauvins in America,” Cooper tweeted back in April. “Casey Goodson Jr. was murdered by Deputy Jason Meade in Ohio. Casey was shot in the back six times while entering his home. He was returning from the dentist with Subway for his family. His keys were in the door when he was executed.”
The Franklin County coroner has confirmed that Goodson was actually shot five times, ABC News reported.
Mark Collins, Meade's attorney, alleged in a statement ABC News obtained that his client began pursuing Goodson after seeing him aim a gun at another driver then at Meade. Collins cited the story of a deputy who said Goodson was "waving the firearm erratically." According to the attorney's statement, Meade followed Goodson first in his car then on foot as Goodson approached a home relatives say belonged to Goodson's grandmother. Collins said Meade identified himself as a police officer and ordered Goodson to show his hands, one of which was carrying a plastic bag. The other held a gun, Collins claimed. Meade "commanded Mr. Goodson to once again 'drop the gun,' and when that command was ignored, and while the gun was pointing at Mr. Meade, he, in fear for his life as well as those inside the house, fired his weapon at Mr. Goodson," the attorney said in the statement.
Goodson's mother, Tamala Payne, said she was “overwhelmed with joy” to hear Meade had been indicted. “It’s been a year of sadness, it’s been a year of grief, it’s been a year of pain," she said at a news conference. "But I know that every day of this year, that my family and I wake up and just fight for what’s right.”
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In stories earlier reported by the Columbus Free Press and The Washington Post, Meade made his policing goals clear two years before the encounter with Goodson. “I work for the sheriff’s office ... I hunt people—it’s a great job, I love it,” he told attendees at a 2018 convention of the Ohio State Association of Free Will Baptists. “I worked this job 14 years, you know I ain’t never been hit clean in the face one time? It’s a fact. It ain’t ’cause I’m so good ... You know why? I learned long ago I gotta throw the first punch. And I learned long ago why I’m justified in throwing the first punch. Don’t look up here like, ‘Oh, police brutality.’ People I hit you wish you could hit, trust me.”
Goodson was not a suspect nor the focus of an investigation, but Meade shot him reportedly for waving a gun from his car, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office alleged in a statement.
Meade, an Iraq War veteran who started his work with the sheriff's office in 2003, is a pastor at Rosedale Free Will Baptist Church, which is about 30 miles west of Columbus. Before launching into the confession of his true belief system, Meade earlier confessed to another Baptist congregation: “I’m not politically correct. Do I need to throw that out? Full disclosure: if you’re looking for PC you got the wrong one.”
Listen to Meade’s complete remarks.
Meade went on to paint police as David and victims of police brutality as Goliath in a twisted interpretation of the popular biblical story in which a young man, David, slays the great warrior Goliath with a slingshot and a rock. The story is often used to demonstrate how faith can make the seemingly impossible possible, but Meade’s takeaway seemed to be that David won because he took the first shot.