St. Paul, MN — Joseph Javonte Washington, 31, is a criminal and a bad guy, whose crimes were live-streamed to Facebook. He needed to be held accountable for his actions as video evidence led to the crimes for which he is accused — three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of kidnapping and one count of second-degree assault. He will go to court and face accountability for these actions. However, he will likely receive a hefty sum of taxpayer money as well after officer Anthony Dean shot him at least twice. When he was shot, Washington was naked and unarmed.
Despite shooting a naked and unarmed man, officer Dean was not arrested or charged with a crime. He was simply fired and could possibly be rehired at a neighboring department.
“When I ask myself if the officer’s actions on Saturday night were reasonable or necessary, the only answer I can come up with is no,” St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell said at the time.
“Lives have been altered. A person has been shot, the community is feeling the effects of an officer-involved shooting. An officer that has served honorably in the past has had his life changed forever,” Axtell said.
However, in spite of the video evidence against him, and even his own chief firing him and claiming that the shooting was unjustified, Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office announced in a letter that “Dean had reasonably concluded that Joseph Javonte Washington was capable of hurting or killing officers or others in the area when Washington suddenly jumped out of a dumpster and rushed officers.”
But this was simply not true as the other officers unleashed a K-9 and were tasering him before Dean put four bullets in Washington. But apparently Dean also claimed he couldn’t see the naked unarmed man’s hands in the dumpster, which helped them to justify the shooting.
“Officer Dean stated that he could not see Washington’s hands while in the dumpster, which caused him concern given report of a knife and Washington’s assertion he had a gun,” the memo said.
After the decision not to charge Dean was released, Axtell said Dean “is a great person who served honorably and did a lot of outstanding work.
“Unfortunately, he made a terrible mistake — his actions didn’t align with the policies or standards of the St. Paul Police Department. I have an obligation to our city and agency to hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards, even and especially when it’s difficult, as it was in this case,” Axtell said.
According to police, Washington and his victim crashed in a vehicle last December. After the crash, Washington — completely naked — broke into a nearby home. The homeowner called 911 and Washington fled to a nearby dumpster where police found him hiding.
Police said officers tried to talk him out of the dumpster but Washington refused to come out, prompting officers to fire pepper balls into the dumpster. Washington then jumped out of the dumpster and ran toward the officers, naked and unarmed.
One officer deployed a taser as another deployed her K-9. By all standards of force, this was enough to stop Washington in his tracks. Nevertheless, officer Dean felt it necessary to start shooting the naked and unarmed man. As the dog was tearing into his arm, Washington collapsed to the ground from at least two bullet holes in his body.
After shooting Washington, police attempted to justify it by searching for a gun or any weapon that they could find. Nothing was found near Washington or in the dumpster.
After firing Dean, Ramsey County Attorney John Choi announced that outside agencies will lead an investigation into the shooting to determine if any criminal charges will be brought. That “investigation” found that Dean’s actions were “objectively reasonable and consistent with generally accepted police practices.”
As you watch the video below, let us know in the comments if you think that Dean’s actions were “objectively reasonable and consistent with generally accepted police practices.”