EXCLUSIVE: Washington Video Provided to Gazette

December 12, 2017-The Gazette has exclusively obtained the video above which purports to be from the night of December 5, 2017 during a domestic incident which forms the basis of multiple felony charges against Lake County Councilman Jamal Washington. It is important to note that the one minute video was sent to us anonymously and we cannot verify its authenticity. It portrays only a small glimpse of what happened in Washington’s home on December 5, 2017. We thought it important to share together with information from the Probable Cause Affidavit filed in the case based on the severity of the charges and the public interest in the case. The video is one of two videos taken during the night in question.

Lake County Councilman Jamal Washington is facing up to 16 years in prison after his cousin, who was living in his home, alleged that he confined her using a sledge hammer and choked her. Washington is charged with:

35-42-3-3(FB) Criminal Confinement Felony Level 3
35-42-3-3(FC) Criminal Confinement Felony Level 5
35-45-2-1(A)(1)(C) Intimidation Felony Level 5
35-45-2-1(A)(2)(B)2 FD: Intimidation Felony Level 6
35-42-3-3(FD) Criminal Confinement Felony Level 6
35-42-2-1(A)(1)(A) MA: Battery Resulting in Bodily Injury Class A Misdemeanor
35-45-2-5 MA: Interference with the Reporting of a Crime Class A Misdemeanor
35-42-2-1 Battery Class B Misdemeanor

According to Indiana Law, confinement becomes a level 3 felony if the perpetrator is armed with a deadly weapon. In this case, the victim stated “she pleaded with [Washington] to let her leave but he refused” and that “she said she was held against her will for over two hours during this incident and at about 7 p.m. Washington left the residence at which time she was able to flee to a neighbor’s house.” The victim stated that Washington “became enraged, grabbed her by the throat and threw her to the ground.”

The video above, begins with Washington asking the victim to leave the house. The victim replies “you just choked me and threw me on the ground.” Notably, she does not mention a sledge hammer. Washington responds, “you know that didn’t happen” and again asks the victim to leave. The victim repeats the allegation that Washington choked her and threw her on the ground and Washington again asks her to leave.

The video appears to have been shot during the two hour time period during which the victim originally claimed to police that she was unlawfully confined. It is important to note that the State is not required to prove that the victim was confined for two hours. Confinement for any period of time is sufficient to form the basis of the charge if a deadly weapon is used. Nonetheless, the probable cause affidavit makes clear that the victim first reported she only escaped when Washington left the house. The victim later recanted her statement to police-a fact which is now undisputed but was first denied by Lake County Prosecutor Bernard Carter. The victim did not report the crime until 24 hours after the incident and no statements from the neighbor, other relatives, or co-workers were included in the sworn affidavit filed by police.

Additionally, a source familiar with the investigation confirmed that no sledge hammer was recovered during a search of Washington’s home. A hammer was seized from the basement of the home.

You can see the full probable cause affidavit filed in the case by clicking the images below:


  1. I believe that this video hurts him more than helps him. What about the assault concerning grabbing her throat and slamming her on the ground? You still have multiple charges . How do we know what happened before and after the video was off. How do we know that the confinement did not happen after the video was over. She stated in this video before it went off that she needed to contact someone to pick her up. What happened after the video went off? What happened to calling the police when someone doesn’t leave your property, specially when you are on probation.

  2. The young lady is very questionable in this because earlier reports she said she called a friend who did come to get her. You hear her saying her phone broke but it is on and most phones will allow a 911 call. You on probation and call the police and a black man at that you are considered a liar no matter the accusation. Jamal is not stupid he I believe for one thing he was not going to do anything stupid. Now if he really did anything like what she said she should have head trauma indicating such a attack. Did she go to the hospital ER to be checked out? Why did the police not send her? Also looking at her and Jamal if this had happened she would not be walking or talking as clear as she was in this video. If someone chokes you there should have been bruising and voice changes. There is a political puppet master Bernard Carter is their tool with the Merrillville Police. I know they can do better police work than this so not to be used by political bosses to do their dirty work.

  3. Ricky the phone was clearly broken which is why the screen looked like that. So she wouldn’t have been able to make a call no matter what. With that being said, her claims of being held against her will are questionable because he asked her to leave multiple times in the video and she kept refusing. If he did what she said he did, she could have simply left the house and called the police from somewhere else. Also, the prosecutor is now saying that she did recant the allegations.

  4. I’m not trying to argue with anyone and I don’t know the truth but if it was at 7pm wouldn’t it be dark outside even if she was held against her will at 5pm its dark outside? In the video you can clearly see its daylight outside.

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