Kerry Washington

October 1966- April 29, 2006

Kerry Washington

Kerry Washington

Kerry Washington died in Orleans Parish Prison on April 29, 2006. He was survived by his loving wife Cheryl and his two daughters, Emily and Kerri. At the young age of 39, Mr. Washington’s untimely death means that his life was cut short, and his potential was not fully realized. Because the system failed Mr. Washington, this dossier attempts to shed some light on Mr. Washington’s life prior to his incarceration and subsequent death, as well as the lives of those continually impacted by his legacy.

Mr. Washington was arrested on April 25, 2006, and booked into the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center but was transferred two days later to Orleans Parish Prison. He was only incarcerated for a total of five days before his tragic death occurred.  It is listed that his last place of residence is in Marrero, Louisiana.

Marrero is a place in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana located on the south side of the Mississippi River, within the New Orleans, Metairie, Kenner area. The address listed, when searched, shows a light-colored yellow brick home in a peaceful neighborhood. The residence shown on Google Maps displays the perfect home for a family to grow up and have lifelong memories to cherish.

To honor his life and seek justice for his death, Mr. Washington’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office. It was argued that Kerry Washington’s constitutional rights were violated by two deputies failing to protect him from other incarcerated people, denying him medical care, and subjecting him to excessive use of force. The Sheriff’s deputies were reported to be improperly trained and because of the lack of training, it led to excessive force when the officers were restraining Mr. Washington.

Success in these types of legal cases is rare – but Mr. Washington’s family prevailed. The judge held that the Sheriff’s office and deputies recklessly disregarded Washington’s constitutional rights and thus should be held liable.  Cheryl’s attorney stated during litigation, “With incarceration comes great responsibility because people in this country are still innocent until proven guilty.”  That statement should be the focus of our justice system.

Although unsuccessful in making direct contact with Mr. Washington’s family, he would undoubtedly be proud of his children.  According to social media posts, both of Mr. Washington’s daughters have pursued careers helping others.  Mr. Washington also would have been a grandfather.   Clearly, Mr. Washington was loved by his family members who continued to fight for him in the courtroom and continue to carry on his remembrance today.

Author: Kambrie Bethard