MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A source tells WCCO the St. Paul police officer who shot a man Saturday night has been relieved of duty.
During a press conference Tuesday afternoon, St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell said he had taken “swift” actions that are in the best interest of the community and department, but did not say at the time what actions he took due to the pending investigation.
“When I ask myself if the officer’s actions on Saturday night were reasonable or necessary, the only answer I can come up with is no,” Axtell said.
Axtell also showed 42 seconds of the incident captured by officer body camera footage.
“Lives have been altered. A person has been shot, the community is feeling the effects of an officer-involved shooting. An officer that has served honorably in the past has had his life changed forever,” Axtell said.
DETAILS OF THE SHOOTING
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension said Tuesday that the shooting victim — 31-year-old Joseph Javonte Washington — is still being treated at St. Paul’s Regions Hospital. He has been charged by the Dakota County Attorney’s office with three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of kidnapping and one count of second-degree assault in connection to alleged crimes perpetrated in his Lakeville home several hours before he was shot.
Investigators said the vehicle Washington and his victim were in crashed just before 8 p.m. near the intersection of Rice Street and Maryland Avenue in St. Paul’s North End neighborhood. Investigators said Washington then broke into a nearby home. The homeowner called 911, and officers soon arrived to find Washington naked and hiding in a dumpster just after 9 p.m. on the 1000 block of Rice Street.
St. Paul police said officers tried to talk him out, and one deployed a PepperBall, which is an irritant similar to pepper spray. Washington then climbed out of the dumpster and ran towards the officers. The officers used Tasers and a K-9 officer in an effort to stop him, and then one officer — who a source says is Officer Anthony Dean — shot him at least twice.
The BCA said no weapons were found in the dumpster or where Washington was shot by the officer. No officers were hurt in the shooting. Some of the officers who used weapons during Saturday’s shooting were identified by the BCA:
- Officer Anthony Dean: Six-year SPPD veteran; deployed his handgun
- Officer Jacob Pederson: Six-year SPPD veteran; discharged his Taser
- Officer Colleen Rooney: Nine-year SPPD veteran; deployed her K-9 officer
An officer who deployed their Taser and another who discharged their PepperBall gun will be identified following interviews with the BCA.
All who were involved are on administrative leave, which is a standard procedure.
The BCA is leading the investigations into the St. Paul home break-in and shooting, while Lakeville police will investigate the alleged sexual assault and kidnapping.
OUTSIDE AGENCIES REVIEWING CASE
Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said that the incident will be reviewed by outside agencies to avoid a conflict of interest.
On Tuesday, Choi said that the offices of the Minnesota Attorney General and Washington County Attorney will be reviewing the office-involved shooting. The request was made Monday as a move to “further trust and confidence in the prosecutorial decision that will be made in this matter going forward.”
Since the St. Paul Police Department is the largest law enforcement agency in Ramsey County, Choi said it’s important for another office that does not work with SPPD to make prosecutorial decisions in this matter to “avoid any actual or perceived conflict of interest.”
“We thank the Office of the Minnesota Attorney General and the Office of the Washington County Attorney for agreeing to this request, and for their interest in advancing justice by stepping forward to handle this case,” Choi said.
Source: CBS Minnesota