The family of Andrew Washington is calling upon the Attorney General to release missing portions of police body cam video that they say will paint a more accurate picture of the moments leading up to Washington’s death.
Washington was shot by members of the Jersey City Police Department’s Emergency Services Unit on August 27 in the midst of a mental health crisis.
“Before officers entered Andrew’s building, family members made continuous, unsuccessful pleas, begging to accompany the officers to speak with Andrew and for the police not to enter his home with firearms, as he had been shot by JCPD 12 years ago. These comments by the family are not shown in the footage that was released, there’s additional body camera footage that needs to be released to paint the full picture of exactly how the police failed to respond to this mental crisis in a professional manner.”
An edited version of body cam video taken during the approximately 30 minutes police attempted to coax Washington out of his apartment was release to the public on Friday by the Attorney General. It shows ESU officer Stephen Gigante trying to reason with Washington, who refuses, responding angrily and incoherently through the door to his apartment.
At 3:28 p.m., approximately a half-hour after ESU arrives, the police kick down the door. Washington rushes out brandishing a knife and is shot simultaneously with a Taser and firearm.
Washington died at the hospital later that afternoon.
The family is calling for Jersey City to contract with ARRIVE together, a program that pairs trained professionals and police when responding to mental health crises. According to Brookings, the program is highly effective in reducing violent outcomes in such interactions. The Jersey City Municipal Council had authorized the issuance of a Request for Proposals for such a program prior to the Washington shooting.
A GoFundMe page has been created to for “covering medical expenses, attorney fees, and funding #JusticeForDrew events such as rallies, vigils, tributes, and memorials that can help raise awareness for the dire need for mandated crisis intervention programs across the country.”
A petition to “hold these police officers accountable” and push for “policy reform for people living with mental illnesses” and has been posted at Change.org.