St. Paul Police Chief says officer 'fell short' of department standards in Saturday shooting, video released

The St. Paul police officer who shot a man during an incident Saturday has been fired, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.

According to the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Officer Anthony Dean, a six-year veteran with the department, was the officer who fired his gun. In a press conference Tuesday, St. Paul Police Chief Todd Axtell said the officer fell short of the department’s standards for use of deadly 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. 

Axtell said he has taken swift and decisive action against the officer who shot the man, but would not say whether the officer was terminated from the police force.

"As police officers, we have a duty to use force only when required," he said. "We must balance the risk to the community, colleagues and to ourselves. Wearing the badge of the St. Paul Police Department is a privilege and honor and comes with great responsibility and authority.”

The BCA also identified Officer Jacob Peterson, a six-year veteran, for using his Taser and Officer Colleen Rooney, a nine-year veteran, for deploying for K-9. Another officer who used a Taser and an officer who used their PepperBall gun will be identified following their interviews with the BCA.

Bodycamera footage released

Axtell also released some of the body camera video from an incident Saturday in which an officer shot and injured a naked, unarmed man on Rice Street.

Axtell said more than a dozen officers were called to the 1000 block of Rice Street Saturday night to search for a suspect wanted on a slew of violent crimes, including criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping and aggravated assault. 

In the graphic video, officers can be heard yelling at the man to get out of the dumpster he had apparently been hiding in. Shots are then heard and the man is seen struggling with a K-9 that appears to be biting him around the legs. 

The man, shot several times, survived. He is still receiving treatment at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, according to the BCA.

No weapons were found in the dumpster or where the shooting happened. No officers were injured in the incident. 

Injured man charged for prior incidents

The BCA identified the man who was shot as 31-year-old Joseph Javonte Washington of Lakeville.

Washington has been charged for incidents that happened at his Lakeville home in the hours leading up to the police encounter in St. Paul. This includes three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of kidnapping and one count of second-degree assault.

The incidents at Washington's home happened around 6:30 p.m. Around 7:55 p.m., the vehicle Washington was in crashed near the intersection of Rice Street and Maryland Avenue. Shortly after, Washington broke into a St. Paul home. Police responded to a 911 call from the homeowner and found Washington in the dumpster.

The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating the police shooting and the break-in to the St. Paul home. 

Ramsey County prosecutors are passing the case off to Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and the Washington County Attorney’s Office for a charging decision due to a potential conflict of interest.