Police body cam video shows man with knife coming at Jersey City officers before fatal shooting
A shirtless Andrew “Drew” Washington, in the midst of a mental health episode and armed with a butcher knife, came at Jersey City police officers after they kicked in his apartment door before they shot him to death last month, video released Friday afternoon shows.
The Office of the Attorney General (OAG) released a pair of 33-minute videos from the perspective of the two officers — Stephen Gigante, who fired his service revolver, and Felix DeJesus Jr., who fired a taser — who were confronted by the 52-year-old Washington Aug. 27. The also released two audio recordings.
Washington, whose family said suffers from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, was mostly unresponsive to calls from Gigante, who is seen in the videos doing most of the talking, repeatedly saying he wants to make sure Washington is “good.” The few times Washington responded to the officer, he told him to leave.
“If you don’t want to bother me or disrespect me, leave,” Washington said at the 3:54 minute mark. “Stop treating me like an f*** slave. I am not your f*** slave. Get away from me, slave driver …”
“You got to get a fair chance for a fight,” Washington repeatedly chanted.
“Can you come show me your face, so I know you are good?” Gigante said soon after. “You are not in trouble. You are not under arrest. ... You sound like you are having a bad day?”
Police did not notify Washington they were coming in and when Gigante kicked the door open, Washington was already holding the knife, the video shows. When Washington lunged through the doorway, both officers fired, the video shows. The officers continued to yell “drop the knife” at Washington, and one minute and 20 seconds later EMTs were called up the stairs.
Washington was pronounced dead an hour later at the Jersey City Medical Center. His death has sparked outrage in the community about how police respond to people in a mental health crisis. Last year the city approved the creation of a mental health crisis response program, the city has not been able to find an operator.
Family members and community activists march on City Hall Wednesday and held a rally outside prior to the city council meeting.