The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office is investigating an incident where a Jersey City police officer fatally shot a mentally ill man.
Officers responded to an EMS call for assistance at a home on Randolph Avenue, near Garfield Avenue, in the Bergen-Lafayette section of the city shortly before 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 27, according to a release issued by New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin’s office.
An officer ended up firing his weapon, wounding a man identified by his family in various news reports as Andrew Jerome Washington, 52.
Washington’s family says he was suffering from a mental health crisis and called for help, but his family did not expect a SWAT team to confront their loved one, who was reportedly in an “agitated state.”
“At one point it seemed like they were going to go in and bring him out, then all of the sudden the SWAT team came in, they’re telling us to back up,” the victim’s aunt Lisa Mendez said. “Why are we backing up. It just turned real ugly.”
His family said Washington has had a long history with the Jersey City Medical Center Crisis Center and Jersey City Police. He was shot in the arm by police in 2011 when they said he was refusing medical help.
“I think the crisis center should’ve done a better job. The police should’ve done a better job. They should’ve had more compassion,” Mendez said.
The shooting is being investigated.