LUBBOCK, Texas – The family of Jasman Washington filed a lawsuit Monday against the City of Lubbock, Lubbock County, the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office and several individual officers, including one Texas Department of Public Safety trooper. The lawsuit claimed officers fired 20 shots at Washington, killing him.
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The lawsuit was “for the use of excessive and deadly force resulting in the unlawful killing of Mr. Washington by heavy gunfire and under the color of law in violation of individual rights…”
EverythingLubbock.com reached out to multiple agencies regarding the lawsuit and will update coverage with any statements as needed.
In April 2020, officers with Lubbock Police, the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office and DPS chased after Washington, officials said, in a stolen vehicle. The vehicle chase ended near Regis Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
“Area law enforcement attempted to force the vehicle to stop,” officials said at the time. “Washington refused to stop and injured a DPS Trooper. Multiple shots were fired at Washington, and he was pronounced deceased on scene.”
A law enforcement helicopter overhead took video of the chase. (Scroll down to see the video player.) It was actually the second of two related chases.
“Without authorization for use of force, [an officer] chose to ram his vehicle into the Dodge Challenger after it had already come to a stop,” the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit said the car was boxed in by law enforcement vehicles. The lawsuit claimed the stolen vehicle moved forward at “slow speed” and an officer was knocked off balance.
“At that very moment, Mr. Washington presented no immediate threat and significant harm to any person or to any of the officers,” the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit said this was because there were no officers or innocent bystanders in his direct path or general vicinity.
However, directly after the vehicle began moving forward, multiple officers began shooting at Washington. This included an officer that used one hand to fire a gun from around a foot away, according to the lawsuit. Video depicted the officer using his other hand to hold the leash of a canine unit while he fired the weapon.
“After the hail of bullet fire, the officers approached the Dodge Challenger and saw Mr. Washington and believed him to be dead,” the lawsuit said. “The officers did not provide first aid once Mr. Washington’s body was removed from the vehicle.”
WARNING: The video may be graphic and difficult for some to watch. Viewer discretion is advised.
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For damages, the lawsuit asked for the practices that led to Washington’s death to be declared unconstitutional and for training on appropriate use-of-force and de-escalation tactics for all officers employed by the city and LCSO.
A specific dollar amount for damages was not included in the complaint.
EverythingLubbock.com exclusively obtained DPS helicopter footage of the incident from an open records request. Use the video player below to watch.