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VIDEO: Chief Fires Cop Who Shot Naked Sexual Assault Suspect

St. Paul, MN – A St. Paul police officer has been fired after he shot an unarmed, naked sexual assault suspect on Saturday night (video below).

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) said that 31-year-old Joseph Javonte Washington allegedly sexually assaulted someone and then kidnapped them from a home in Lakeville at about 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 28, KSTP reported.

Then Washington and his victim were involved in a crash at about 7:55 p.m. near the intersection of Rice Street and Maryland Avenue West.

After the wreck, a fleeing Washington broke into a nearby home, prompting the homeowners to call 911, KSTP reported.

St. Paul police officers responded to the call and were told that the suspect was holding a steak knife to a woman’s throat, the Associated Press reported.

Officers searched the area and found Washington hiding in a dumpster in the alley behind a funeral home.

Bodycam video of the confrontation showed officers repeatedly ordered the suspect to get out of the garbage dumpster.

“Get out of the dumpster and get on the ground,” St. Paul Police Officer Colleen Rooney ordered Washington.

“Joseph, come on out. Climb out of the dumpster. There ya go,” Officer Rooney encouraged him in the video.

Then a split second later an officer yelled “gun,” and then several more officers yelled gun as bodycam showed them backing away from the suspect.

“Show me your hands! Show me your hands!” one of the officer yelled in the video.

BCA said that St. Paul Police Officer Jacob Peterson deployed his Taser at Washington but the video showed that effort was ineffective, KSTP reported.

Another officer deployed pepper balls to no effect.

Then Officer Rooney yelled “Dog! Dog! Dog!” to warn the other officers that she was about to release her K9 on the suspect.

That’s when St. Paul Police Officer Anthony Dean fired four rounds at Washington at about the same time that the K9 grabbed ahold of the suspect’s leg, according to the BCA.

The suspect was struck by two rounds, KSTP reported.

Washington continued fighting even after he had been shot, yelling and kicking at the dog, the video showed.

“Get the f—k off me! Get the f-k off me! Get the f—k off me!” he screamed as the dog continued to engage with him.

Bodycam showed Washington continued to resist arrest and Officer Rooney yelled to the other officers that they couldn’t deploy a Taser at the suspect because of the police dog when the video ended.

Washington was arrested and charged with three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of kidnapping, and one count of second-degree assault in connection with the incident before the car crash, KSTP reported.

He remained in custody at Regions Hospital.

No weapons were found on Washington or in the dumpster where he had been hiding, KMSP reported.

St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell released the bodycam to the public on Dec. 1 along with the announcement that the officer who shot Washington had been terminated, the Associated Press reported.

“When I asked myself if the officer’s actions on Saturday night were reasonable and necessary, the only answer I could come up with is ‘No,’” Chief Axtell told reporters on Dec. 1.

The police chief said that the officer’s actions fell short of the department’s standards for the use of deadly force, KMSP reported.

St. Paul Police Federation President Paul Kuntz defended the officers involved in the incident and called Washington “a violent and dangerous felon,” the Associated Press reported.

“The officers worked to arrest the man using many de-escalation techniques,” Kuntz said in a statement. “This was a difficult situation for everyone involved.”

BCA is heading up the investigation and released now-former Officer Dean’s name to the public, but neither the police department nor the police union have confirmed his termination, according to the Associated Press.

Former Officer Dean had been a member of the police force for six years, KMSP reported.

He was named the Minnesota American Legion’s “Officer of the Year” in 2016, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

But despite that, the police chief told reporters that he had taken “swift, decisive, and serious action” against the officer who shot the naked suspect.

“As police officers, we have a duty to use force only when required,” Chief Axtell said. “We must balance the risk to the community, colleagues and to ourselves. Wearing the badge of the St. Paul Police Department is a privilege and honor and comes with great responsibility and authority.”

BCA is investigating the officer-involved shooting and Washington’s break-in at a St. Paul home, KMSP reported.

Ramsey County prosecutors have said they will not make a charging decision on the officers and passed the case off to Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and the Washington County Attorney’s Office, citing a potential conflict of interest.

Watch the incident unfold in the video below. WARNING – Graphic Content and Obscene Language:

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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