JERSEY CITY, N.J. (PIX11) — Through tears and songs about trusting God’s plan, the family of 52-year-old Andrew Jerome Washington honored his life.
The family stated the Jersey City man suffered from bipolar depression and schizophrenia, was having an episode, and was worried for his safety, so they reached out for help. Now, they regret making that call and are calling for justice.
The police would not allow his aunts to go into the house while they were there. They should have at least allowed him to talk to the kid before doing what they did,” family friend Dwight Jones said.
The Mayor of Jersey City, Steven Fulop said this week that the shooting was justified, and that body camera footage showed Washington charged at police with a knife. But the relatives question why police were at the crisis scene to begin with.
Reverend Al Sharpton of the National Action Network, who gave the eulogy is calling for a thorough investigation of the incident.
“In Andrew’s name, we need to go top to bottom on how you proceed in this city,” said Sharpton.
Friends and family wore green clothing, the color of mental health awareness, to the ceremony at St. John’s Baptist Church.
The New Jersey state attorney general has now taken over the investigation, and Washington’s stepbrother says he wants justice and accountability.
“I just want my brother’s name to be held up, to be uplifted because the way they took him out was the complete opposite of the person that he was,” said Fred Rhett, his stepbrother. A brother loved by many in this community and one he will never forget.
“That was my brother. His passion, his love. I remember everything, everything, everything from when we were small. Him, me, and my sister. I remember everything,” he added.
We reached out to the mayor’s office and the state attorney general but did not hear back.
On Sep. 20, 2022, the family and their supporters will be leading a march to city hall to demand Justice. They will depart from 256 Randolph Avenue starting at 4:15 p.m.