"Drop the gun, we will shoot you!"
That's the last thing Portland State University (PSU) Officer James Dewey yelled at Jason Washington before Dewey and fellow PSU Officer Shawn McKenzie shot and killed him. Footage taken from the officers' body cameras, released this afternoon by PSU, show the quick series of events that led up to Washington's death in from of the Cheerful Tortoise bar around 1:30 am on July 29.
PSU released the videos a day after a Multnomah County Grand Jury cleared both officers from criminal charges for fatally shooting Washington.
The videos show the officers getting out of their squad cars to investigate a brawl on the sidewalk in front of the campus bar, located at SW 6th and SW College. Dewey asks the group of five or six men to "break it up," and grabs at one of the men wearing a gray shirt and khaki shorts. On his right hip, there's a visible black holster holding a gun. It's Washington.
"Sir, we got to have you back up," Dewey says, pulling Washington away from the fight. Washington falls backward onto the sidewalk. It's unclear if his fall was caused by Dewey pulling him back or by another person in the scuffle. As soon as Washington hits the sidewalk, someone shouts, "He's got a gun!" Washington stands up, and it's clear he no longer has the hostler on his side. According to prior witness testimony, Washington then bent down to retrieve the gun—but this step isn't obvious in the videos. Either way, Washington is shot dead seconds after getting off the ground. When gunshots end, Dewey exhales and quietly says to himself, "Fuck."
The entire interaction took less than a minute.
Immediately, onlookers begin shouting in apparent confusion, and some start yelling at the officers. "You killed him! You killed a man with a a concealed weapon, you're done bitch," yells one man. "You killed him!"
The videos cut out after other officers arrive and block off the scene. One of them appears to retrieve a gun from the ground, lying next to Washington's body.
For the sake of transparency, we've embedded both officers' videos below. PSU has blurred the faces of everyone in the videos to protect their identity.
Warning: The below videos contain disturbing images and audio.
Following the grand jury ruling, PSU President Rahmat Shoureshi announced he was hiring two seperate independent consultants to investigate Washington's death and reevaluate the 4-year-old policy allowing campus police to carry weapons.