Note: Members of the press can email the Communications Office to obtain a link to download the recordings.
TRENTON — The Office of the Attorney General today released audio recordings of a phone call to police and police radio transmissions, as well as video footage from police body-worn cameras, related to a fatal police-involved shooting on August 27, 2023, in Jersey City, New Jersey.
The decedent was previously identified as Andrew Washington, 52, of Jersey City. Officer Stephen Gigante of the Jersey City Police Department fired his service weapon, striking Mr. Washington two times, and Officer Felix DeJesus deployed a Conducted Energy Device (i.e., a taser).
The fatal shooting is under investigation by the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA). The recordings are being released pursuant to policies established by the Attorney General’s Office in 2019 to promote the fair, impartial, and transparent investigation of fatal police encounters. Investigators previously met with the family of Mr. Washington to provide them an opportunity to review the recordings before they were publicly released.
According to the preliminary investigation, emergency medical services responded to Mr. Washington’s residence on Randolph Avenue shortly after 2:15 p.m. Upon arrival, they requested the assistance of the Jersey City Police Department.
At approximately 2:29 p.m., Jersey City patrol officers arrived and tried unsuccessfully to communicate with Mr. Washington, who refused to open his apartment door. Officers then requested the Jersey City Emergency Services Unit (ESU), which arrived at around 2:56 p.m. ESU officers attempted to communicate with Mr. Washington through the closed apartment door.
At approximately 3:28 p.m., ESU members forced open the door to Mr. Washington’s apartment. Mr. Washington advanced toward the officers in the hallway/stairwell with a knife in his hand and Officers DeJesus and Gigante fired their taser and service weapon, respectively. The knife was recovered at the scene.
Mr. Washington was treated by EMS, who transported him to Jersey City Medical Center, where he was pronounced deceased at 4:47 pm.
The recordings are available here: https://njoag.app.box.com/s/3cm6ub6hyjnz198upuij4m2orp8g64k8
The investigation is ongoing and no further information is being released at this time.
This investigation is being conducted pursuant to a state law enacted in January 2019 (P.L. 2019, c.1), which requires that the Attorney General’s Office conduct all investigations of a person’s death that occurs during an encounter with a law enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity or while the decedent is in custody.
Separately, the Independent Prosecutor Directive, which was issued in December 2019, outlines a 10-step process for conducting these investigations. The Directive establishes clear procedures governing such investigations to ensure that they are conducted in a full, impartial and transparent manner.
Under both state law and the Directive, when the entire investigation is complete, the case will be presented to a grand jury, typically consisting of 16 to 23 citizens, to make the ultimate decision regarding whether criminal charges will be filed.
Further information about how fatal police encounters are investigated in New Jersey under the Independent Prosecutor Directive is posted on the Attorney General’s website at http://www.njoag.gov/independent-prosecutor/