By Southwester Staff
The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) is investigating an officer-involved shooting that took place on July 16, a busy Saturday night, amidst the bars and restaurants at the center of the Wharf. According to MPD, shortly after 9:00 p.m., two off-duty officers encountered Lazarus Wilson, 23, of Dumfries, VA, whom they say brandished a gun during a confrontation.
One of the officers, identified as Commander Jason Bagshaw, responded with deadly force, shooting and killing Wilson, and has since been placed on administrative leave. Because he was off-duty at the time of the shooting, Bagshaw was not equipped with a body camera. On July 22, MPD released to the public available security footage and bodycam footage from responding officers.
Community leaders, including Harriet’s Wildest Dreams, a DC-based Black-led abolitionist community defense hub, had called for the timely release of video footage, and wrote on Twitter July 23 that they “are still demanding full video transparency and accountability.”
Other activists took to social media following Wilson’s death to share videos and stories of previous encounters with Bagshaw, particularly during protests for racial justice that followed the killing of George Floyd in May of 2020. In December 2020, Black Lives Matter DC publicly called for Bagshaw’s firing after a violent encounter with a protester.