Peace on Earth, Goodwill toward Men. Rolls right off the tongue, doesn’t it? And yet … while it’s so easy to say, it seems almost impossible to achieve. I might have hoped to write a nice Christmas-y post tonight about the joy of the season or some such, but something crossed my radar today that I think is more important right now.
For the second time this month, police in Columbus, Ohio have shot and killed an unarmed Black man. The first, I hadn’t mentioned here before, as I was waiting for facts. The story the police officer who shot Casey Goodson tells differs vastly from the story Goodson’s family related, and frankly I find the police version to be rather dubious, at best.
On December 4th, Casey Goodson had a dental appointment. Afterward, he stopped at a local Subway sandwich shop and picked up sandwiches to take back to his family, a 5-year-old brother and 72-year-old grandmother. Meanwhile, members of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office were in his neighborhood searching for another Black man. Mr. Goodson exited his car when he arrived home and, carrying the sandwiches in one hand, inserted his key in the door of his house and as he entered his home, he was shot multiple times in the back and fell onto the kitchen floor.
Goodson has no criminal record and has a permit to carry a gun. Now, the deputy who shot Goodson, Deputy Jason Meade, claims that Goodson pointed a gun at him, however it is reported that no other officers witnessed the shooting, nor were there any civilian witnesses. We are told that Meade was not wearing a body cam. Mr. Goodson was using his key to unlock the door with one hand and carrying a bag of food in the other. Think about that one.
Because the Sheriff’s Office waited three days before contacting them, the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation is refusing to accept the case. At one point, officers said they found a weapon on the ground, but it has not been mentioned since, not even by Meade’s attorney. I smell a rat … a big, ugly, racist rat.
Fast forward to the day before yesterday, same city, Columbus, Ohio. Two police officers were responding to a complaint from a neighbor that a vehicle had been left running for some time. When officers arrived at the home of Andre Maurice Hill, Mr. Hill was coming out of his garage holding a cell phone. When he saw the officers, he held the cell phone outward so they could see the illuminated screen and understand what he was holding. Within six seconds, Officer Adam Coy fired his weapon multiple times, hitting Hill, who died an hour later in the hospital.
Officer Coy did have a body cam and the video is available, but he did not turn the audio on until after the shooting. The second, as yet unnamed officer on the scene, attempted to approach Hill as he lay dying on the ground, but Coy waved him away, and then screamed at Hill to “put your fucking hands out to the side … roll on your stomach, now.” The man, having been shot multiple times and lying nearly unconscious, dying, is being screamed at to roll over and put his hands out. Eventually, Coy takes one of Hill’s arms and rolls him onto his back. Though Hill is immobile, Coy does not immediately give him aid. Oh yeah … that’s compassion, folks!
Columbus mayor, Andrew Ginther has called for the immediate termination of Adam Coy, saying …
“… police values including integrity, compassion and accountability were absent and not on display while Mr Hill lay dying.”
Although Coy is a 17-year veteran of the Columbus’ police force, his tenure has been marked with complaints, including allegations of excessive force. During a drunk driving stop in October 2012, Coy punched a man, slammed him on the ground, and repeatedly bashed his head into the hood of his car while the man was handcuffed. The incident, witnessed by a college student and Coy’s own dashboard camera, was so bad the victim was awarded a $45,000 settlement from the city.
Coy was relieved of duty, ordered to turn in his gun and badge, and stripped of police powers pending the outcome of investigations. By union contract the officer will still be paid. He will still be paid … for not even having to show up for work … after murdering an innocent man. Justice? I think not.
This, my friends, is what we mean when we say there MUST be nationwide police reform. These murders, and that is the only way to think of them, are far too common and MUST STOP! We are told we should respect law enforcement officers … well, respect is earned and is a two-way street. Police are hired to protect us, and instead they are killing us … with little or no provocation.
Filosofa’s Word will be on a brief Christmas hiatus until Saturday morning. I have much to do, and as we are sharing Christmas dinner with our dear friends next door, I will be spending Friday in the kitchen! But I shall return on Saturday morning. Meanwhile, I’d like to wish you all a peaceful holiday, and I hope you are able to spend it with loved ones, for to me that is the joy of the season … my family & friends.