While Goodson’s deadly shooting continues to be investigated, his death has called for police accountability in a city deeply characterized by racial inequality for generations.
The 23-year-old Goodson was shot dead on Friday by a 17-year-old veteran of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, identified as Deputy Jason Meade.
Authorities are investigating what happened that day because there were no body camera recordings and Goodson was not wanted by law enforcement at the time.
City leaders and residents believe Goodson’s death sheds light on the systemic racism of law enforcement that exists in Columbus and other communities.
“Casey’s case is just another reminder that work continues and that racism is ubiquitous and hard work needs to be done as a nation to eradicate it,” said Shannon Hardin, president of Columbus City Council. “Racism is part of this country, part of our city and part of who we are, and we can’t afford the challenges and how flooding us everywhere in terms of where we’re going.”
Black people living in the Ohio capital are still feeling decades of restructuring, refusing banks to lend to poor and minority communities, and straining their relationship with law enforcement for a long time.
These inequalities became even more pronounced this year when the Covid-19 epidemic began and protested against systemic racism and police violence following the assassinations of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
The Columbus City Council and Franklin County, which surrounds the city, passed a resolution declaring racism a public health crisis. In the decisions, officials acknowledged and promised to address the inequalities of colored people in health, poverty, economic mobility, education, crime and access to food.
But activists say the resolutions barely met the racial tensions in Columbus.
Hana Abdur-Rahim, co-founder of the activist and black abolitionist collectives in Ohio, said city officials wanted to “silence” the black community after widespread protests over the material of black lives.
“Columbus, Ohio, is not a safe place for black citizens because we are constantly being targeted (by the police),” Abdur-Rahim said. He also added that city officials should consider dismantling the existing police force and find alternatives to patrolling the community.
Protesters and police clashed in Columbus during the summer protests, with police firing rubber bullets and pepper spray. Some protesters were injured and arrested during the riots.
Abdur-Rahim said he was also hit with rubber bullets and still has scars on his body.
“They brutalized us and attacked us,” Abdur-Rahim said.
Since the protests, a number of police reform voting measures have been taken, including the creation of a new civilian police supervisory committee.
4 black men and teenagers were killed by police
Goodson’s shooting last week is part of the latest series of police shootings involving black young men and teenagers in a city of nearly 900,000 people.
Among the black men killed by Columbus police in recent years was Julius Tate, a 16-year-old man who was shot dead by a police officer in December 2018 during a pinch action; Kareem Ali Nadir Jones, 30, who was shot dead by police in July 2017; Tire King, a 13-year-old man killed by police in September 2016; and Henry Green, a 23-year-old in civilian clothes, was shot dead in June 2016.
Aramis Sundiata, founder and executive director of the Columbus People’s Justice Project, called the black community’s law enforcement relationship an “antagonist,” saying residents do not trust law enforcement and are often afraid to call 911 for emergencies.
“People know there is a reality that you can be killed,” Sundiata said.
For Rodney Revish, a 41-year-old black man living in Columbus, Goodson’s death shows that last summer’s national protests fell on deaf ears from law enforcement.
“The black community of Columbus and the black community as a whole have one simple request, and it’s not hard: stop shooting,” Revish said.
The community, he said, is exhausted in order for the police to target and unfairly target and want to patrol additional black officers in their area.
But some black officers have recently said they are also fighting police prejudices.
Last month, Columbus City Council paid $ 475,000 to a black police officer after the officer, a 28-year-old veteran, said he faced retaliation for his superior’s racism and other misconduct.
Not only Officer Karl Shawn, who has experienced such treatment in the Ohio capital. Mayor Andrew Ginther, through a spokesman for the mayor, called the ministry’s racism “systemic,” and three other officers, including Shaw’s old partner, who allegedly faced a death threat, also filed a discrimination lawsuit against the department.
“Black cops who too often swear to protect the lives and freedoms of their communities will be silent, silent, subjugated and marginalized if they boldly speak their truth,” Adviser Shayla Favor said last month. “This is a tragedy for our city. It is our duty to create a safe space for all residents who seek justice and reform.”
The city denied the allegations outlined in the three lawsuits and made no recognition in Shaw.
Columbus is one of the most segregated cities in the United States
Columbus ’racial tension goes beyond policing. According to black residents, the city’s history of redrawing, segregating, and gentrifying black lines is also a boiling point.
According to a study by the University of Toronto, Columbus is the fourth most economically segregated subway area in the country. The city is 59% white and 28% black.
Morgan Harper, a local community activist, said segregation in Columbus prevented white residents from understanding the challenges facing black residents.
“If you never want to deal with your other (racial) experiences, people don’t have to be here,” Harper said. – And people felt good about it.
Sundiata, executive director of the People’s Justice Project, said some neighborhoods, including the short northern area where black residents once lived and felt welcome, were transformed with expensive apartments, restaurants, bars and bike shops that made white residents seemingly satisfied.
The city’s Southside and Linden neighborhoods are also slowly gentrifying, Sundiata said.
“These are no longer the places where (black people) could actually attend, have dinner or shop,” Sundiata said. – The culture has shifted.
Hardin, the city council president, said the story of the redraw in Columbus still hurts black communities today.
Hardin said that when we compare a 1936 Columbus map on the map that shows current statistics on infant mortality, violent crime, and eating deserts, Hardin said there is significant overlap.
“The politics of our ancestors are directly related to the challenges facing the neighborhoods of Columbus today,” he said.
“I use it to remind people and to remind my council members and anyone who wants to come in and meet me that we need to act deliberately in tackling racism,” Hardin added.
Correction: A previous version of the article misspelled Casey Goodson’s last name.