Body Camera Footage Shows Chaos, Quick End In PSU Shooting

By Ericka Cruz Guevarra (OPB)
Sept. 14, 2018 6:15 p.m.

Fewer than 30 seconds elapsed between the time Portland State University Police got out of their vehicle and the moment Jason Washington was shot and killed.

Still from newly released body camera footage shows Jason Washington moments before he was shot and killed.

Still from newly released body camera footage shows Jason Washington moments before he was shot and killed.

Courtesy of Portland State University

Newly released body camera footage from PSU Officers James Dewey and Shawn McKenzie revealed new details of the moments leading up to what would become the first campus officer-involved shooting at PSU. University leaders armed its officers in a controversial 2014 vote.

The footage doesn’t make clear where Washington’s handgun was before he was shot. But it confirms what witnesses have said about the last moments of Washington’s life: that he was trying to stop a drunken melee, and that it took officers just seconds between the time they verbally recognized Washington’s gun and killed him.

Video shows the two officers arrived in the midst of what appeared to be a drunken brawl early on June 29.

Washington can be seen on the tape attempting to stop several men from brawling. He's seen with his arms extended attempting to keep the men apart.

The incident escalates when a man in a blue shirt wrestles another man to the ground and punches him. Washington is among the first to respond, his handgun visibly holstered on his right hip.

"Sir, sir," Officer Dewey can be heard saying as he grabs Washington's arm. "I got to have you back up."


Washington, who had a valid concealed carry permit, pulls a man up from out of the pack and falls to the ground.

"He's got a gun," someone can be heard saying. Washington gets up and walks away from the fight.

It's unclear in the video whether he has the gun in his hand.

"Drop the gun!" an officer yells several times. "We'll shoot you!"

One second after that warning, Officer McKenzie shoots.

Related: 2 Portland State University Officers Cleared In Jason Washington Shooting

The footage was released one day after a Multnomah County grand jury decided not to charge the two officers. The grand jury determined the fatal shooting was a lawful act of self-defense and/or the defense of a third person.

Three men are seen on the ground — the two who fought and Washington, who emergency medical responders would later pronounce dead at the scene, according to the Portland Police Bureau.

One of the men at the center of the brawl tries to get up after the shooting and stumbles, falling to the ground.

"You killed a man with a concealed weapon and you're done, b**ch," another man who had been involved in the fight yells at the officers.

"Bro, you killed him!" the man yells. "I don't even know him, and he's dead!"

"You killed him, bro. You killed him, bro."

OPB is ending the video immediately after gunshots out of sensitivity for Washington's family.

This article will be updated.