Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes ofwebsite accessibilityCasey Goodson Jr. family argues former deputy was a 'time bomb' in lawsuit against county | WSYX
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Casey Goodson Jr. family argues former deputy was a 'time bomb' in lawsuit against county

Attorney Sean Walton stands with the family of Casey Goodson after filing a civil rights lawsuit against Franklin County. December 2, 2021. (WSYX)
Attorney Sean Walton stands with the family of Casey Goodson after filing a civil rights lawsuit against Franklin County. December 2, 2021. (WSYX)
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The family of Casey Goodson Jr. is suing Franklin County over his death by a Franklin County deputy nearly a year ago, labeling the deputy a "ticking time bomb" and that the sheriff's office was aware.

The filling comes shortly before the statute of limitations runs out and on the heels of the former deputy, Michael Jason Meade, being indicted by a grand jury.

Sean Walton announced the lawsuit Thursday standing with the Goodson family. Walton said the county is liable, not just because they employed Meade, but because they believe his disciplinary record should have precluded him from joining the SWAT team and carrying a rifle.

The family is alleging excessive force, wrongful death, a Monell claim, and more. A Monell claim is a claim against the county for a pattern of practices and customs that lead to the offense, their lawyer said.

"We cannot indict Jason Meade under our own power," Walton said. "What we can do is we can use the civil justice system to bring some level of accountability to this family."

The lawsuit claims Meade was woefully undertrained in de-escalation and constitutional use of force while the bulk of his training focused on firearms training.

According to the lawsuit, Meade completed courses in "Victims with Special Needs” and “De-escalating Mental Health Crises” in minutes and only trained a few hours in law enforcement ethics and constitutional use of force while receiving "hundreds of hours" in SWAT tactics and weapons training.

The family is seeking compensatory damages, punitive damages, and injunctive relief against the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office for its policies, procedures, and training.

In response to the indictment, Meade's attorney in the criminal case argued Meade acted within his lawful duties.

"What we all need to remember is just like Casey Goodson’s family has demanded justice, so does Jason Meade and his family, His lawyer Mark Collins said. "We intend to litigate this case in a manner to ensure that all stones are turned over and Jason gets the process he’s due."

Franklin County declined to comment on the civil suit citing pending litigation.

WSYX received Meade's personnel records days after the shooting.

The records show in March 2019, Meade received an oral reprimand for violating rules and regulations for deploying his taser on a suspect and didn’t notify his supervision or communications about the use of force.

The sheriff’s office hired Meade in 2003.

Meade transferred from patrol to SWAT in 2014 and was assigned to the U.S. Marshals Task Force at the time of the shooting. He retired in July of 2021.

RELATED | Records reveal Franklin County SWAT deputy in Goodson case shot a man in 2017

In June 2018, Meade was placed on administrative leave for a psych evaluation.

At that time, Meade was one of seven Franklin County SWAT deputies who fired their guns during a deadly shooting in Pike County.

In 2010, Meade returned to his Jackson Pike Jail assignment after being removed from the Special Investigative Unit.

One document states Meade never lived up to his potential as a good investigator and also had a confrontation with a corporal in front of co-workers that rose to the level of insubordination.

He received below rankings on his 2010 performance evaluation. It was noted Meade appeared to be content with only doing the bare minimum to get by.

Examples include only checking four of 12 citizen complaints in 2010 and nine out of 20 the year before.

The same evaluation showed Meade hadn’t done a progress report on a case of an elderly man who was robbed until seven months later.

In 2011, Meade was removed from No Inmate Contact Status which he was placed on in 2007 pending an IA investigation, meaning he couldn’t be around inmates while on duty. No explanation was given.

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His most recent performance evaluation dated September 2020 shows three above-expectation rankings. It was noted he is always counted on, thinks things through and makes command decisions for his peers. Meade was also described as an honest man who is highly motivated.

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