A New Jersey community is frustrated because authorities can’t explain why a Black man died after he was seen in a Facebook Live video on Saturday asking police officers for help.
That frustration reached a boiling point on Tuesday night when hundreds of demonstrators confronted Paterson police officers at City Hall, WABC-TV reported.
Jameek Lowery, 27, broadcasted himself on Facebook Live at the Paterson police headquarters in the early morning hours on Saturday. Lowery, who was disoriented and incoherent, told several police officers standing in the lobby that he needed help.
Eventually, they called an ambulance and accompanied him to St. Joseph’s Hospital—a five- to 12-minute ride away from police headquarters. But Lowery was unresponsive when the ambulance arrived at the hospital, and he was pronounced dead.
The Passaic County Prosecutor’s office launched an independent investigation while the three police officers involved are on administrative leave.
“I want justice, I need the truth and I’m not going nowhere until I get the truth,” Lowery’s mother, Patrice King, said at the demonstration.
In the Facebook Live video, Lowery asks police not to shoot him. He is seen sweating profusely and appears under the influence of some substance.
Lowery called 911 after taking the drug ecstasy, sources told the news outlet.
“I’m just paranoid,” Lowery tells the officers, adding that someone tried to kill him as he pleads with the cops for “help.”
One of the officers asks him if he wants to go to the hospital. Lowery replies that he needs some water. “I’m dehydrated,” he states.
“All right, the hospital has water,” one of the officers can be heard saying in the video.
The prosecutor said that officers used physical force and compliance holds to secure Lowery in the ambulance.
See Lowery’s video below.
“He was extremely paranoid, he was terrified and he had no shoes on. What I did notice was his face looked good and within a few hours he was dead,” Hawk Newsome of Black Lives Matter said at the demonstration.
Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale said investigators will know more after autopsy results are received.
“I want you to have those answers. Right or wrong I want you to have those answers,” he added.