Casey Goodson, Jr. fell onto his kitchen floor, his house keys dangling in the door lock. He’d been fatally shot by a county sheriff’s deputy in Columbus, Ohio. He was black. He was twenty-three. He was home. When the report flashed across the evening news on December 4, 2020, I leaped from my chair and fled the room. I didn’t want to feel the urge to vomit again. I didn’t want to collapse onto my knees again. I didn’t want to scream. I fled and forgot. But the words and images gnawed at me for a week. When my stupor broke, I was shocked by my unwillingness to feel empathy or compassion. Shocked by the ease of slipping into numbness. How often? How many more? Stop counting, Dawn. This was the first time Casey Goodson, Jr. was killed by the police. I will remember him.

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Dawn Downey

Dawn Downey

Dawn Downey writes about love and pain. Her latest book is Blindsided: Essays from the Only Black Woman in the Room. DawnDowneyBlog.com.