Portland State body camera footage shows rapidly escalating scene, ending in Washington's death
Body camera footage of the shooting death of Jason Washington shows a rapid and intense scene of a fight moments before Portland State University Officers James Dewey and Shawn McKenzie opened fire, killing the Navy veteran and U.S. Post Office worker.
The footage was released Friday by Portland State University following a Multnomah County Grand Jury decision not to charge the officers. PSU blurred the footage to protect the identity of witnesses, as body camera disclosure law requires in Oregon.
Both three-minute videos show Officers Dewey and McKenzie calmly driving and parking their patrol cars before getting out to break up a fight near The Cheerful Tortoise bar the night of June 29.
It is less than a minute from the time the two officers exit their vehicles to the shots fired on Washington. The body cam footage shows two slightly different scenes and more information on Washington's involvement in the fight than in the footage previously seen from cell phone video shot by bystander Keyaira Smith.
Washington, who legally owned a gun and held a concealed carry permit, is black. In the footage, Washington and the rest of the men appear intoxicated.
What the videos show
The officers' body cameras show them both driving and parking their cars before things rapidly escalate.
"Everybody, get the f--- back! Get back," yells McKenzie after exiting his car.
"He's got a gun," a bystander tells the officers while walking away.
"Stop, stop, stop," yells McKenzie at Washington as he gets up from the ground. "Drop the f---ing gun."
Washington keeps walking and does not appear to drop anything.
The officers then open fire.
"F---," swears Dewey after Washington is on the ground.
"Aw, dude, c'mon," wails a man nearby.
"Sir, get out of here," McKenzie responds. "Get out of here. Move away. Please get away. Please get away."
It took about 15 seconds from McKenzie exiting the vehicle to firing on Washington.
Dewey arrived just before McKenzie. In the footage from his point of view, a man in a camouflage shirt points at Washington and tells the officer: "He pulled a gun on us."
Then a skirmish breaks out between a man in a blue shirt and a man in a red shirt while Washington tries to pull them apart.
"Hey, sir, sir," Dewey tells Washington, pulling on him, "I gotta have you back up."
Washington pulls on the man in the red shirt, stumbles backwards and falls down, which could be when his gun falls out of its holster.
"He's got a gun," Dewey says, then yells at Washington as he gets up and walks away: "Stop! Drop the gun, drop the gun!"
Again, the video shows that Washington doesn't stop and officers open fire a split second later.
The rest of the three minutes are officers arguing with bystanders about the incident.
"You killed him!" the man with the camouflage shirt wails. "He's dead! ... You killed him for no reason!"
Portland State University officials have promised a full independent review of the incident. In a statement Thursday, university President Rahmat Shoureshi said the university also intends to revisit a 2014 policy of arming campus police.
Washington's family through attorney Christopher Larsen has said they are considering their legal options.
"We want those responsible for the death of my husband to be held accountable," wife Michelle Washington said in a statement released to media Thursday. "We will always remember and love Jason and know he was needlessly killed while attempting to keep the peace."
Larsen says the family intends to "vigorously pursue legal action against those who are responsible for this tragic death."
The following is actual footage of the shooting and should be viewed with caution. Several objectionable words have not been beeped.
This video is of body camera footage from Officer McKenzie.
This video is of body camera footage from Officer Dewey.