Columbus Division of Police Chief Thomas Quinlan issued a statement ahead of scheduled protests this weekend over the fatal shooting of Casey Goodson Jr. by Franklin County Deputy Jason Meade.
"As I stated publicly Thursday, I hear the cries of this community. I hear your demands for answers, for accountability, and for justice. My entire career has been based on the principles of service, community, and justice- equal justice," he said.
Goodson was shot by Meade on Dec. 4. The U.S. Marshals Service said a task force, which Meade was part of, was wrapping up an operation when Goodson drove by and waved a gun at deputies.
Columbus police said Meade was investigating when there were "reports of a verbal exchange" and Meade fired at Goodson.
Goodson’s family said he was shot while going into his home with food for him and his family. An attorney representing Meade said Goodson pointed a weapon at the deputy before he opened fire.
The Columbus Division of Police Critical Incident Response Team is investigating the shooting. The FBI has also joined the investigation to help determine if any federal civil rights laws were violated.
Multiple demonstrations are scheduled to happen in Columbus this weekend on Friday and Saturday.
In his statement, Chief Quinlan said he understands the issues driving people to gather and speak out.
Quinlan said Columbus police will be there to protect everyone's First Amendment rights.
"You have my personal commitment that we are here to facilitate a safe, peaceful opportunity for all voices to be heard," he said.
Quinlan adds that officers will be wearing their issued body cameras to document all interactions and uniformed officers will have badge numbers visible.
The chief said if anyone experiences anything they deem excessive or improper by an officer, they are asked to report it to ReportCPD@Columbus.gov and include any photos, videos and specific information.
"We are here to listen, to help, to serve, and to protect," Quinlan said. "I ask you to honor the wishes of Tamala Payne, Casey Goodson’s mother: 'My son was a peaceful man and I want his legacy to continue in peace.'"