Newly released audio reveals Jason Meade, an Ohio deputy who fatally shot 23-year-old Casey Goodson in his garage, bragging at a church conference that he "hunts people" for a living and punches suspects he fears will hurt him.
Family members say that Goodson had gone to the dentist in early December and was returning home with lunch for his family when he was fatally shot inside his own garage. As The Hill reported, Meade was involved in a search for violent offenders, but Goodson was not a target. Officials later claimed that Goodson witnessed a man with a gun who waved the firearm at him. The deputy opened fire, killing Goodson in front of his 72-year-old grandmother and two toddlers. Meade has been placed on leave.
In new audio published by The Washington Post (via The Hill), Meade is heard discussing his position at an event held by the Ohio State Association of Free Will Baptists in 2018. Meade, a Baptist pastor, bragged that his position allowed him to "hunt people" and said he punches suspects.
"I work for the sheriff's office.. . . I hunt people — it's a great job, I love it," he says in the audio. "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."As USA Today noted, Meade worked on the SWAT unit of the Franklin County Sheriff's Department and with the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force. He served in Iraq in 2005 as a reserve Marine. Meade has also served as the pastor at Rosedale Free Will Baptist Church, which was described as a small church with close to 80 congregants.
Goodson's killing has led to widespread protest, especially in the wake of a number of other high-profile police shootings and killings. Some, including Goodson's family, have called for the officer to face murder charges. The shooting remains under investigation by the FBI and Ohio Bureau of Investigation.The Hill noted that Meade also opened up about his work in a YouTube video shared by the Franklin County Sheriff's Office, saying that he believe his work is guided by his faith and described his use of force on the job as "righteous."