No charges for officer who shot, killed armed man in Asbury Park home response
There will be no criminal charges filed against the police officer who shot and killed an Asbury Park man armed with a knife, during a domestic violence call more than two years ago.
A state grand jury on Monday voted not to file any criminal charges after deliberations regarding the death of 39-year-old Hasani Best.
Best died on Aug. 21, 2020 after a 45-minute standoff with responding officers during which a taser was also used, though it failed to have an impact on diffusing the situation.
After Best said he was going to stab the officer closest to him, opening the door to the bedroom in which he had retreated, Sgt. Sean De Shader fired his service weapon twice.
Best was pronounced dead shortly after at a local hospital.
Officers had received a 911 call from a neighbor who said that Best had been in a physical fight with another person in the residence.
In addition to Asbury Park police, officers with the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office also had responded, one of whom deployed the taser the first time Best had opened the bedroom door.
“Come on, Mr. Best, we’ve dealt with you too many times. Just put the knife down,” one of the officers says through the upstairs bedroom door on body camera footage that was released.
“Listen, all you got right now is just harassment. It ain’t that big of a deal. Come on, just drop the knife, you come out and we settle this,” an officer is heard saying.
“I would never want to hurt you,” Best says at one point through the door. “As a matter of fact, we need police. I know it’s a hard job you got”, before continuing, “At the end of the day, I don’t give a f--- about that,” he said. “Stop being fake; talk to me real.”
Within moments, Best says “Whoever is near me I’m going to stab them and then you gotta shoot me,” before the door swings open and two shots are fired.
After considering evidence, testimony and instructions on legal standards, the state grand jury determined that no criminal charges should be brought against the officers.
An officer may use deadly force in New Jersey when the officer reasonably believes it is immediately necessary to protect the officer or another person from imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm.
In September 2021, Best’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Monmouth County Superior Court on behalf of his three children.
The Asbury Park Press reported that based on a tort claim notice previously filed, they were seeking $25 million.