Former St. Paul police officer won't face charges in shooting of unarmed man

No charges will be filed against the former St. Paul police officer fired after shooting an unarmed man last November.

In a letter issued on Friday, the Minnesota Attorney General's Office declined to bring charges against Officer Tony Dean. Dean lost his job days after the shooting on the 100 block of Rice Street.

The man who was shot, identified by police as Joseph Javonte Washington, was wanted on allegations of sexual assault and kidnapping on the evening of November 28. Police said, after an incident in Lakeville, in which Washington had allegedly used a knife to kidnap a woman, Washington drove from the area and crashed his vehicle near the intersection of Rice Street and Maryland Avenue.

Investigators said Washington then broke into a home. When police responded to a 911 call, they found Washington hiding in a dumpster naked.

Body camera video released by police showed the standoff between officers and Washington, with officers demanding Washington get out of the dumpster. At one point, Washington claimed to have a gun. In an attempt to take Washington into custody, officers fired a pepper ball gun at the dumpster.

As the incident dragged on, Washington eventually charged towards police, and that's when Dean opened fire. Washington was struck by gunfire but survived his injuries.

Days after the shooting, Dean was fired with Chief Axtell saying the circumstances of the shooting "fell short" of the department's standards for use of force.

"When I asked myself if the officer’s actions on Saturday night were reasonable and necessary, the only answer I could come up with was no," Axtell said following the incident.

In a statement to the BCA, which investigated the shooting, Dean said when Washington ran towards police, he couldn't tell if he had a weapon on him. The woman who had been kidnapped by Washington also said he was in an unstable state of mind and had talked about suicide, prosecutors say.

Given the information, prosecutors with the AG's office, along with an outside consultant, determined the evidence in the case didn't support filing charges against Dean.

Sources tell FOX 9 that Dean, a six-year veteran of the force prior to his firing, is now seeking to get his job with the St. Paul Police Department back.