GEORGETOWN – A Brown County coroner has confirmed that a father who was hung to death in police custody was a victim of murder, according to reports.
Communities were initially told that Zachary Goldson’s death was due to a “suicide.”
But as they looked closely into the death, they discovered that officers had deleted key video footage that showed Goldson in the last 30 minutes of his life.
It began in September after Goldson was arrested by officers on the claim that he had a .22 firearm and had fired it across a roadway near his home.
He was locked inside of a cell and faced up to 14 years for the gun charges.
Goldson maintained that he did “nothing wrong.”
Indeed, he had not harmed anyone, and the constitution guarantees the right of Americans to bear arms.
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Once in jail, Goldson wrote a revealing letter to his mother.
He expressed a future-based intention to see her again, a fact that became deeply mysterious in light of the claim that he was “suicidal.”
“Im just writin you to tell you I love you mom…I’m going to miss you both and Im prayin you are still around when I get out because I don’t want to loose my mom while im in jail.”
The letter is reproduced in its entirety below:
About nine days after his initial arrest, Goldson was taken to a jail hospital after vomiting.
Jail documents claimed that he had “swallowed” a pen and some staples.
At some point during his transfer to the hospital, he attempted to free himself from captivity and return back home to his family.
Allegedly, he used his shackles to strike an officer during his escape attempt. That’s when officers piled onto him and restrained him once again.
He was accused of assaulting an officer.
A swarm of officers can be seen on a dashcam video surrounding Goldson.
They can be heard calling Goldson “trash” and stating a desire to “break his fucking neck.”
Moments later an officer seems to promise more violence upon Goldson: “This motherfucker is going to receive a welcome party at the jail.”
WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT
Less than an hour later, Goldson was taken back to jail, a noose made of a bedsheet was tightened around his neck, and he was hung to death.
These factors led many to conclude that Goldson was murdered by the police, and that the police were trying to cover up the murder by claiming that it was a “suicide.”
But because officers deleted the jail footage showing what happened to Goldson during the last minutes of his life, investigators couldn’t be certain.
Now, in a newly released report by the coroner, Goldson’s death has been confirmed as murder by strangulation.
It would have been “physically impossible” for Goldson to have tied his own noose given how high the ceiling was, according to the report.
“At first I thought it was a suicide until all the information started coming in,” Goldson’s mother said. “But there was so much evidence, it became clear that something was wrong.”
Goldson leaves behind his mother and his 9-yr-old son, both of whom he had hoped to see again.