Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr., who faces the most serious charges in Freddie Gray's death, joined the Baltimore Police Department in 1999.
Officer Caesar R. Goodson Jr., who faces the most serious charges in the death of Freddie Gray, joined the Baltimore Police Department in 1999.
Goodson, 45, lives on a quiet, tree-lined street of neatly kept ranch houses and colonials in Catonsville near Baltimore National Pike. Neighbors described him as a friendly man.
"He spends a lot of time with his family and kids," said a neighbor who declined to give her name. "He's helped me with my car a few times. I could never say anything negative about him."
Goodson's grandfather was also a police officer. Several family members, reached by telephone Friday, declined to comment.
Goodson is the only officer facing a murder charge in Gray's death. He was charged with second-degree depraved heart murder, which carriers a prison sentence of up to 30 years. He also faces manslaughter and assault charges that carry a combined sentence of up to 33 years.
Nobody answered the door at Goodson's home Friday, and the blinds on every window were closed.
Reporters and camera crews converged on the white, split-level house near Baltimore National Pike. Baltimore County police drove past the house several times and asked reporters if they needed anything or whether they had any problems.
The severity of the charges against Goodson surprised one former Baltimore officer.
"He's not confrontational," said the officer, who did not want to be named. "He's not known as being a heavy-handed guy."
Two neighbors said they saw plainclothes officers around Goodson's house on Tuesday and Wednesday night, but didn't know why. They said they didn't know Goodson was involved in the case until the charges were announced.
Another neighbor said Goodson always goes out of his way to say hello.
"He's always thrown a hand up," the man said. "He seems like a good guy."