Ohio Deputy Who Killed 23YO Black Man Reportedly ‘Loved’ His Job ‘Hunting People’

On 4 December, 23-year-old African American Casey Goodson was killed outside his home by Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Meade. Goodson had no criminal background and was not the target of any investigation. Meade’s lawyer alleges Goodson pointed a gun at him during the fatal altercation. Lawyers for the Goodson family deny this claim.

Ohio Deputy Who Killed 23YO Black Man Reportedly ‘Loved’ His Job ‘Hunting People’

On 4 December, 23-year-old African American Casey Goodson was killed outside his home by Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy Jason Meade. Goodson had no criminal background and was not the target of any investigation. Meade’s lawyer alleges Goodson pointed a gun at him during the fatal altercation. Lawyers for the Goodson family deny this claim.

Local Ohio media have obtained audio of what is said to be a recording of remarks given by Jason Meade, the Ohio deputy and Baptist Church pastor accused of fatally shooting an unarmed black man, in which he seems to brag about his job ‘hunting people’ for a living.

“I work for the sheriff’s office…I hunt people – it’s a great job, I love it,” the voice purported to be Meade’s says in the recording.

“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 me, trust me,” the voice adds.

The alleged audio of Meade was said to have been recorded during a sermon in 2018 before the Ohio State Association of Free Will Baptists. The recording was first released by the Columbus Free Press on 12 December, before spreading to national media this week.

Activists seeking justice for Goodson allege that the recording, along with a video in which Meade compares himself and other public servants to Jesus Christ, “the servant of all servants,” and calls the use of violence a “righteous release,” are evidence that the deputy was unfit for service.

Maede, a 17-year veteran of the Franklin County Shariff’s Office, has been a pastor at the Rosedale Free Will Baptist Church in Madison County since 2014, and did a tour of duty in Iraq with the Marine Reserves in 2005.

The deputy was thrust into the national spotlight earlier this month following a deadly 4 December altercation with Casey Goodson, whom he shot in an incident which coroners ruled a homicide. Meade, who was searching for violent offenders with the US Marshals Fugitive Task Force at the time, reported “witnessing a man with a gun,” and to have had a verbal exchange with Goodson before firing on and killing him. Police said a gun had been recovered from Goodson.

However, lawyers representing Goodson’s family say the 23-year-old was shot to death in front of his grandmother and two children as he tried to unlocked the door to his home with sandwiches from Subway after returning from a dentist’s appointment, and that he was not armed and posed no threat. Meade’s legal team maintain the young man had a gun, which he was said to have waved around at law enforcement.

The shooting incident sparked protests, with the demonstrations following the wave of nationwide protests, some of them violent, earlier this year in the wake of the May death of Minneapolis black man George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer.

Meade has been put on paid leave as federal, state and local probes into his case continue. Members of his congregation have defended the pastor, accusing media of “trying to make him a villain.” They’ve asked the community to reserve judgements in the case until investigations are completed.