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Jersey City mayor, public safety director say officers' actions were justified in fatal shooting

Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and Public Safety Director James Shea said Monday that the actions of two officers involved in Sunday’s fatal shooting of 52-year-old Jerome Washington were justified. Now, the attorney general is being urged to release body-cam footage.

Lanette Espy and Ali Reid

Aug 28, 2023, 10:16 AM

Updated 299 days ago

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Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop and Public Safety Director James Shea said Monday that the actions of two officers involved in Sunday’s fatal shooting of 52-year-old Jerome Washington were justified. Now, the attorney general is being urged to release body-cam footage.
Officials say they went back and reviewed all footage after officers tried de-escalation techniques with Washington for over an hour.
“They entered, and they were charged by Mr. Washington with a knife in hand. And used forced by deploying a firearm and a Taser. Everything prior to that was in line with communications that were taught at the police department and de-escalation training,” Fulop said. “We want to be clear with the circumstances that while tragic, we do feel that those officers acted properly.”
Officials say police were requested on scene after emergency medical services personnel felt the situation wasn’t safe enough to pursue. They say police were originally called, separate from a 911 call, due to a mental health episode.
The Attorney General’s Office says one Jersey City police officer fired his service weapon and a man was struck. They say the injured man was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead around 4:45 p.m.
Prior to Sunday’s fatal shooting, seven crisis calls had been made to the home just in the month of August alone.
Washington’s family says a similar situation happened in 2011, when he was shot in the arm. They say this should’ve been avoided.
Washington’s family says they called the city’s crisis center for help during an episode he was having due to bipolar disorder. They say a SWAT team arrived instead.
The Attorney General’s Office says the investigation is ongoing and that no further information is being released at this time.
The officers involved in the fatal shooting voluntarily turned in their weapons and were placed on administrative leave.


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