What to Know
- The Cumberland County prosecutor released police body camera footage of the shooting of a man in Vineland, New Jersey.
- Rashaun Washington can be heard telling police he wants to die in the video.
- The police officer who shot and killed Washington has been placed on administrative leave.
In police body camera video released Thursday, Rashaun Washington can be heard telling officers he is holding an explosive.
"I'm going to die right here, right now," Washington says multiple times before being shot and killed by police during an encounter in Vineland on Saturday.
"Relax for us, no one has to die," says the officer whose camera footage was released by the Cumberland County prosecutor's office.
The tense, 28-minute video shows a confrontation that witness cell phone video did not capture.
It all started when police were called to West Wood Street between Boulevard and 4th streets around 11:20 a.m. Saturday for a report of a man acting suspiciously. When they arrived, police found Washington standing on the front porch of a home.
Video shows officers arrived with long guns drawn. They can be heard multiple times telling Washington to show his hands.
"You're all gonna have to shoot me right here," Washington can be heard saying as officers continued to shout commands and try to talk to him.
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Washington, 37, talks about his frustrations since returning home from prison, wanting a better life for his children and how he wants to die.
He tells police that he's holding an explosive and it will blow up if he removes the cap.
When he makes a move toward the officers, shots are fired and Washington falls to the ground.
In the video, police can be heard telling Washington to back up prior to the shooting and they call for medical assistance immediately after.
A police canine was then used to help immobilize Washington, according to investigators. Washington can be seen kicking the dog in the video as police spray him with mace.
Investigators said Washington was holding garden shears wrapped in a t-shirt.
The New Jersey father of two struggled with addiction and had moved out of a halfway home just four months ago, Washington’s father, Reginald Miller, told NBC10 Tuesday afternoon. He struggled to find a job while also attempting to reconnect with his 11-year-old and 13-year-old children, Miller said.
The officer who discharged his weapon has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.
The Cumberland County Prosecutor’s Office is investigating the incident. Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Joseph Lowry at 856-453-0486 x11197.