On Saturday, June 14, Rashaun Washington was reportedly shirtless in front of a house in Vineland, New Jersey, and police believed he looked “suspicious.” Officers confronted the 37-year-old and as reported by NBC, “They instructed him to back down, but Washington was agitated and did not cooperate. At least one rifle was pointed at him during the confrontation, according to the video. Soon, shots rang out and Washington dropped to the ground. A police dog lunged at Washington. Miller said the dog bit his son’s face as he died.” Reportedly, Washington was unarmed and only had a water bottle and a T-shirt in his hand.
Washington’s father Reignald Miller told NBC, “There’s all these officers and everybody’s got guns pointed at him. They got high-powered assault rifles. They got a dog barking at him and he’s got nothing in his hand but a water bottle and a T-shirt,” Miller said. “He had to feel threatened with everybody pointing everything at him.” He also said, “Why did he have to die in that matter? None of that had to happen.” Miller was a father to an 11-year-old and 13-year-old.
The officer who fatally shot Washington is now on administrative leave. Peter Alfinito, who is with the Burlington County Fraternal Order of Police, said responding officers faced “too much uncertainty” with Washington. “Two minutes is a lifetime when you are with someone … who is not cooperating.” Damn.
What a heartless response. See the video below of Washington minutes before his death. The full footage of the shooting has not been released.
Our condolences go out to Washington’s friends and family.