An Ohio sheriff’s deputy who fatally shot a black man carrying sandwiches used the Christian faith to defend using force once — describing it as “righteous release.”
Franklin County sheriff’s deputy Jason Meade, who is also a Baptist pastor, argued that the Bible’s teachings come into play when he has to use what he refers to as “righteous release,” the Columbus Dispatch reported.
“That’s what I call it when we have a use of force because every now and then you have to actually use force,” Meade said in a 2018 talk titled “Connecting with the Community.”
“We don’t go around looking for it because we don’t have to. Plenty of people would give you that opportunity,” he continued.
Meade, who is a pastor at Rosedale Free Will Baptist Church, said that he’s been challenged before about how using force aligns with his faith.
“I’ve had people say ‘How can you hurt someone? Jesus said turn the other cheek’ and I said, ‘Read your bible, he’s not talking about physically getting slapped in the side of the face,’” he said.
In other talks, Meade has described his work with the US Marshall’s Fugitive Task Force as “hunting people,” the outlet reported.
“I hunt people. It’s a great job, I love it,” Meade said of searching for fugitives while appearing at a 2018 conference with other pastors, the paper reported.
Meade was working with the task force searching for violent offenders when he fatally shot Casey Christopher Goodson Jr., 23, as he was entering his grandmother’s home in Columbus, the outlet reported.
US Marshal Peter Tobin said that Meade reported that Goodson had waved a gun and ordered him to drop a weapon.
The lawyers representing Goodson’s family have denied that he brandished a weapon — saying picked up Subway sandwiches on his way home from the dentist before he was gunned down in front of his 72-year-old grandmother and two toddlers.
Meade has been placed on paid leave pending investigation, the newspaper reported.
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