Recently, I mailed a copy of my essay “Black Lives Matter: ODRC and Ohio Attorney General Michael DeWine Swindle and Inmate” to newly appointed Ohio Parole Board member Shirley Smith, an African American former Ohio state senator. In light of the current nationwide discussion of the need for the United States to reform its fractured criminal justice system, which thrives on the arrests of poor people of color, I’ve now decided to share copies of my essay with powerful politicians and prominent media outlets (e.g., President Obama, presidential candidate Ohio Governor John Kasich, ABC’s The View, and The Washington Post) with the hope of lobbying someone who will address the injustice I describe in the essay. I was framed and assaulted by six white correction officers, and with vindicating evidence captured on an audio recording, I’ve proved they fabricated their accounts of why they used what they called “justifiable force” against me.
Because I was able to incorporate the vindicating audio recording into my essay as an exhibit, which can be witnessed at the website FreeJasonGoudlock.org, my experience of injustice is a good test case for the nation’s well-publicized effort to eradicate law enforcement’s use of excessive force against African Americans. Although I cannot offer the public a Rodney King-like video of the correction officers beating me, I can present the next best thing: an audio recording of a hearing in which the official in charge said I did not do what the correction officers testified under oath had caused them to beat me. Like the former University of Cincinnati police officer charged with murdering unarmed African American motorist Samuel DuBose, the correction officers lied. But numerous elected officials on Ohio’s legislative Correctional Institution Inspector Committee, as well as numerous administrative figures within the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction and on the Ohio Parole Board, have turned deaf ears to the vindicating evidence on the audio recording.
Immediately after the release of the infamous photographs of United States soldiers torturing accused enemy combatants detained in Abu Ghraib prison, elected officials condemned the inhumane acts committed by the soldiers. Why is the same moral revulsion nowhere to be found in response to clear evidence that six White correction officers framed and assaulted me, an African-American prisoner? The obvious answer is that neither my life nor upholding justice means anything to the officials who have heard the evidence. Hopefully it will mean something to someone reading my account of this injustice.
Download a PDF copy of In Search of Justice.