Questions have been raised from the family of 52-year-old Andrew Jerome Washington who was shot and killed by police following a call from Emergency Medical Services. According to reports, Washington was experiencing a mental health crisis and had stopped taking critical medication.
According to reports, officers attempted to communicate with Washington through his apartment door for over 30 minutes. The Jersey City Emergency Unit was then called to the scene. About an hour after EMS arrived, ESU officers forced open the apartment door. Washington allegedly advanced towards the officers with a knife, and in response, ESU Officer Felix DeJesus deployed a stun gun while Officer Stephen Gigante fired his service weapon, hitting Washington twice.
The incident was captured on body camera video, which is in possession of the New Jersey attorney general’s office, leading the investigation. The mayor and public safety director stated that the officers’ actions were in line with department protocol and that they had called for emergency services trained to handle people in emotional crises.
Washington’s family criticized the police response, expressing concerns that their loved one was reportedly in an “agitated state” should have received compassionate and understanding measures instead of a SWAT team. Earlier, the family contacted a crisis center where they indicated that Washington had recently been treated for bipolar disorder alongside schizophrenia and had been released too soon.
Our condolences to the family of Andrew Washington and we’ll be following this story with updates as we receive them.