Before I introduce myself, I would like to begin by first and foremost offering my sincerest belated condolences to you in the wake of the tragic loss of your late beloved relative, Samuel and young Tamir.
My name is Jason Goudlock, and I’m a 40-year-old African American who has been confined in the state of Ohio for 22 consecutive years, as a first-time offender, for aggravated robbery and felonious assault. I’m writing this open letter to you in the interest of seeking your support to assist me with addressing a common and ongoing injustice that has affected both of us: that is, the giving of false statements by Ohio officers involved in use of force incidents, along with covering up of these unjust incidents by supervising Law enforcement authorities.
On August 12, 2013, while being housed at the Mansfield Correctional Institution, I was physically attacked, without provocation, by at least five white correction officers who repeatedly punched and kicked me inside of my cell before and after they handcuffed me. Afterwards, the correction officers all provided multiple accounts of what they claimed triggered them into using so-called justifiable force against me, which were accounts that were subsequently contradicted by an audio recording from my May 2013 disciplinary hearing. The surveillance video, however, was subsequently and mysteriously lost.
According to the accounts given by the correction officers, they initiated force against me out of reaction from me allegedly violently kicking my unlocked cell door open, and then charging towards the officers. However, I never kicked my cell door open, which logically means that the officers couldn’t have reacted to that.
The audio recorded comment made by superior officer Lieutenant Dahlby supports my claim of being framed and assaulted by the officers, in which the lieutenant stated on the audio recording that the surveillance video clearly shows that I didn’t kick my cell door open. Yet and still, in spite of the lieutenant acknowledging that the officers had all provided false accounts of the April 12, 2013 incident, the lieutenant who was the chairman of the disciplinary hearing, still found me guilty of committing the rule infractions that they accused me of: “disobeying a direct order” and “physical resistance of a direct order.”
After being railroaded at my disciplinary hearing, I managed to secure a copy of the audio recording of the hearing and later made it available to the public in 2015 on freejasongoudlock.org as an exhibit to an essay that I wrote titled Black Lives Matter: ODRC and Ohio Attorney General Michael DeWine Swindle and Inmate.
The essay, which details the cover-up of the use-of-force incident by the Mansfield officers and the Ohio Attorney General’s office, was widely circulated amongst Ohio elected officials during a time when they and other state leaders were publicly condemning the actions of rogue police officers. Instead of Ohio’s elected officials publicly speaking out against the obvious cover-up in my situation, they ignored the injustice and swept it under the rug, right along with their integrity.
Sadly, as you and I know, the covering-up of horrific acts of injustice is not anything unusual in Ohio. The only way that Ohio’s ever going to be free of this corruption and racism rampant in its criminal justice system is for the public to hold Ohio’s leaders accountable for their hollow leadership and complicity in covering-up acts of injustice.
When public leaders, such as Ohio’s Attorney General, are willing to blatantly ignore egregious acts of officer corruption and brutality committed against the public, whom they were elected to serve, then these leaders must be held accountable and must be removed from office.
With this said, I conclude this letter and would like to humbly ask for your support towards my initiative to attain the justice that I’ve been denied in this State of Ohio that has greatly failed me and you. Your solidarity would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your time and consideration,
Download a PDF copy of An Open Letter to The Families of Samuel DuBose and Tamir Rice.