Hundreds of angry demonstrators have wage a protest march in the northwest city of Columbus in Ohio to demand justice and transparency from investigations into the police killing of an African-American youth last week outside his home.
Protesters on Friday night marched in the state capital toward the Ohio statehouse chanting, “No justice, no peace, no racist police” as they were closely followed by police officers on foot and in patrol vehicles, local news outlets reported on Saturday.
The protest rally came a week after 23-year-old Casey Christopher Goodson was shot to death by a Franklin County sheriff’s deputy assigned to a group of US marshals searching for a fugitive in the Northland neighborhood where Goodson lived.
Some participants in the march spilled into the streets, blocking traffic, but the gathering appeared peaceful and there were no reports of arrests.
Another protest was planned for downtown Columbus on Saturday at noon, according to the local daily Columbus Dispatch and other media outlets in the major city.
“I’m calling for justice and that’s all I’m calling for,” Goodson’s mother, Tamala Payne, said in a news conference Thursday. “My son was a peaceful man and I want his legacy to continue in peace.”
The officer who killed him claimed that he had seen Goodson carrying a gun and opened fire on him when Goodson ignored his order to drop the weapon.
Goodson’s family, however, stated that he had been returning from a local sandwich shop and was shot in the back as he was about to enter his home. They further pointed out that he had a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
A coroner’s report said Goodson was shot multiple times in the torso.
The fatal police shooting is the latest in a wave of killings of African Americans by police officers across the US that have triggered an upsurge of protest rallies over the persisting racial injustice and brutality by American law enforcement officers.
The Columbus Division of Police is investigating the shooting, along with the FBI, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Ohio, and the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice.
Police-involved shootings and killings of black men have recently led to mass protests and violent clashes in major cities across the US, including Portland, Oregon, for the killing of African-American, George Floyd.
Floyd was killed at the hands of a white police officer in the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25.
His death sparked protests across the country, but in Portland, anti-racism protesters remained on the streets practically every night for several months, and prompted President Donald Trump to deploy his federal agents to crackdown on demonstrators.