Community holds vigil for Alachua County Jail inmate who died while in custody
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Members of the community gathered at Bo Diddley Plaza on Thursday for a night of mourning, remembrance and protest over the death of 32-year-old Marcus Goodman, a Gainesville resident who died at the Alachua County Jail last week.
His entire family was present – still visibly hurt over the loss of their loved one. Marcus Goodman was arrested by Gainesville police officers back in June 2021 in connection to stealing $8,000 worth of computer equipment at the Jiffy Lube on Northwest 13th Street, according to the arrest report. While in custody, he was in and out of hospitals receiving treatment for his mental health. For a little over a year, he was deemed unfit for court.
At a hearing on Jan. 26, the judge found Goodman fit to stand trial, according to court records.
The Alachua County Sheriff's Office said Goodman suffered a medical emergency. His cause of death is unknown. Goodman's sisters April Johnson and Nijel Goodman, along with his family, are demanding truth and justice for their little brother.
After the vigil that was held for Marcus Goodman, his family and friends, as well as up to 100 other Gainesville residents, walked in support down West University Avenue to continue their fight for justice. Police blocked off the streets.
Danielle Chanzes, a local community organizer, led the crowd through the streets.
"It shouldn't take the most extreme forms of violence for us to pay attention. It shouldn't take Marcus Goodman being murdered, it shouldn't take Erica Thompson's baby dying in the county jail for us to pay attention,” Chanzes said.
As for his family, they just wish he was back home. Goodman’s death is under investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.His family set up a GoFundMe page to help cover the funeral expenses.