VINELAND, N.J. (WTXF) - A heartbroken family wants answers after police in Vineland shot and killed their son.
“Looking at what they did to my son, I turned around and punched the metal door and broke the bone in my hand,” said Reginald Miller.
Miller says the explosion of emotion came after viewing multiple images of the Saturday police shooting and death of his 37-year-old son, Rashaun Washington.
“That was not deserved. He did not deserve that just to have a man gunned down, no weapon, no threat to police – that he deserves to be gunned down like that,” Miller said.
Police say they were called to a man acting suspiciously on a front porch Saturday, just before 11:30 a.m.
Video taken from a distance by a witness appears to show Washington advancing toward police and falling back while officers point weapons and police dogs bark.
Shots are fired and Washington drops.
His father complains when the police dogs are released.
“He hits the ground and you release the dogs on him. You done shot him, where’s he going? You let the dogs chew on him?” asks Miller.
Vineland police declined to comment.
The office of the Cumberland County Prosecutor, investigating the shooting, in a Monday afternoon press release, write the officer who fired has been placed on paid leave.
Court records show Rashaun Washington had a criminal history, including drug convictions.
His father says Washington was released from a Bridgetown halfway house four months ago, adding the “Camden streets got him.”
A former Pennsylvania State Trooper, now working as a security consultant says the investigation will be based on what Washington had in his hand and whether police felt threatened.
“It needs to stop. This culture of gunning down black men in cold blood. It’s got to stop,” Miller said.
For resources for victims of violence in Philadelphia, see here.