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Protesters Demand 'Justice For Casey' In Downtown Columbus

Ricky Walker
Nick Evans
Ricky Walker

Demonstrators flooded downtown Columbus Friday night demanding justice for Casey Goodson Jr. a week after he was shot and killed by a Franklin County Sheriff's deputy.

Protesters marched the same streets and chanted the same slogans as they did this summer. The demonstrations were peaceful, but the mood was somber and somehow more focused.

Goodson, a Black man, was shot on the stoop of his home December 4 by Deputy Jason Meade, who is white. Meade claims Goodson pulled a gun on him first and he ordered him to drop it before firing.

Goodson's family disputes the claim, saying he had a concealed carry permit and was avid about gun safety. Meade was not wearing a body camera and police have said there were no eyewitnesses. Columbus Police and federal authorites have opened separate investigations.

At Friday's protest, Ciara Yancy carried her five-year-old son Anthony on her back. Asked if he was having fun, Anthony shouted back, "Heck yeah!"

“It wasn’t as organized.” Yancy said of this summer’s protests. “There was a lot of people just damaging stuff and I think this time we’re out here with an actual purpose and everybody’s more united.”

Ricky Walker could feel the difference, too. She pointed to the hands-off approach taken by the police.

“There’s no need to intervene if people aren’t being aggressive or violent or anything like that, and people are really just out here to honor Casey,” Walker said.  "We want justice for Casey, and so we’ll get it in the way that he would’ve wanted it.”

Walker is quick to say she’ll back Saturday.

“Absolutely. Every time there’s a protest I will be here," Walker said. "I’m a mother of five children, I have a Black son, so I don’t want any of my children to have a hashtag before their names, so I’m here.”

Her oldest is nearly 23—the same age as Goodson.

The High St. mural shortly after protesters finished.
Credit Nick Evans / WOSU
The High St. mural shortly after protesters finished.

After looping through downtown, protesters gathered in the middle of High Street in front of the Statehouse. They painted "Justice For Casey" in the center lane.

Nick Evans was a reporter at WOSU's 89.7 NPR News. He spent four years in Tallahassee, Florida covering state government before joining the team at WOSU.