The Attorney General’s Office today released video footage from body worn cameras (BWCs) and a 911 call related to the death of Lee Waskiewicz, 47, of Bayonne who died on June 7 when Bayonne Police Officers Edward Taveras and Timothy Ballance, Jr. fired their service weapons at him, fatally wounding him.
Officials said the fatal incident remains under investigation by the Office of Public Integrity and Accountability (OPIA).
The recordings are being released in response to an OPRA request and pursuant to policies established by the Attorney General in 2019 that are designed to promote the fair, impartial, and transparent investigation of fatal police encounters.
Prior to today’s release, investigators discussed the matter with Mr. Waskiewicz’s relatives and provided them copies of the recordings to review.
According to the preliminary investigation, uniformed officers of the Bayonne Police Department responded to a 911 call made at approximately 6:30 a.m. reporting a domestic disturbance at a residence in the first block of West 1st Street.
When officers arrived, they met a resident, who spoke to them about Mr. Waskiewicz. The resident escorted the officers into the home and called Mr. Waskiewicz down from the third floor.
Upon seeing the police officers, Mr. Waskiewicz went back upstairs and out of sight in the doorway of an attic.
When Officer Taveras asked Mr. Waskiewicz to come down to talk to him, Mr. Waskiewicz yelled for the officers to leave and threatened to stab them.
Mr. Waskiewicz came back to the stairs armed with a knife.
During a second interaction in the stairwell, Officers Ballance and Taveras fired their service weapons, fatally wounding Mr. Waskiewicz.
Officers rendered medical aid until emergency medical personnel arrived and transported Mr. Waskiewicz to Bayonne Medical Center, where he was pronounced deceased at approximately 7:43 a.m.
The recordings being released today include video footage from the BWCs of three Bayonne police officers, including Officers Taveras and Ballance, and an audio recording of the 911 call.
The recordings are posted online: Click here for recordings.