New Jersey Black Lives Matter activists are calling for the Paterson Police Department to release more information regarding Saturday’s police shooting of an unarmed, “disturbed” 41-year-old Black man, the Huffington Post reports.
According to the Post, Larry “Sincere” Bouie and his girlfriend Tasha Wade were riding in the car with their two sons when the car battery died not far from a local police station. After seeking help with no luck, Wade said Bouie became emotional and erratic.
“He was wilding and going crazy,” she told the Post. “We tried to call an ambulance and calm him down, but couldn’t calm him.” Wade told the Paterson Times Bouie was under the influence of a smoked substance, which caused a change in his behavior.
A female officer, who remains unnamed, responded to the scene and opened fire on Bouie, striking him in the abdomen, according to the Post. Bouie is currently recovering at St. Joseph’s Medical Center, the outlet writes.
The case is similar to several other high-profile police shootings involving mentally disturbed Black men and women. Most recently Renee Davis, a mother of three who was five months pregnant, was shot and killed on Washington tribal land while officers were responding to a wellness check.
No arrests have been made as the Paterson Police Department and the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office continue their investigation.
But Black Lives Matter protesters want more than the completion of a criminal investigation, the Paterson Times reports. On Monday evening, demonstrators gathered in front of the Paterson Police Department to demand authorities release the officer’s name, footage of Saturday’s shooting, and implement new ways to monitor the police by creating a civilian review board.
“We cannot have these things continue to happen,” said Alexis Miller, a leader of Paterson’s Black Lives Matter group. “If we had mental health professionals, trained to de-escalate these situations, he might not be in the hospital right now. He might be right here with us. He might be trick-or-treating with his family like the rest of Paterson.”
Activists also released a petition that sums up their demands. Zellie Imani, another leader in the city’s BLM movement, told the Post that Black Paterson residents are distrustful of the police because justice in these types of incidents are few and far between.
“People are realizing police are not needed for their safety and, sometimes, are a threat to their safety as well,” Imani said.
According to the Post, Paterson has paid thousands of dollars in settlements alleging police misconduct.