Ian Hartman, Contributing Writer
On Jan. 5, 2019, Jameek Lowery entered the Paterson Police Department, attempted to receive aid and was then placed in an ambulance by the officers using compliance holds to secure him for transport. He live-streamed his entrance into the Paterson police station. In the four-minute video, he asked for water and stated that members of the police were trying to kill him for “fucking with the FBI.”
Days later, he would die in a hospital bed with his face destroyed. “Per initial reports and information, police used physical force and compliance holds to secure Mr. Lowery in the ambulance,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement. “Hospital records indicate no acute trauma.” According to Reverend Corey Teague, the family’s spokesman, an independent autopsy was still awaiting important information from the state medical examiner in Passaic County.
Three of the officers involved in the incident from the Paterson Police Department have been placed on administrative leave pending the results of the investigation into Lowery’s death. Biweekly protests by the family and their supporters have become a fixture at Paterson council meetings. Rev. Teague urged the community to have patience and hold together for a long fight for justice.
Lowery’s death came as a shock to his community, especially since months before there was a purge of corrupt officers from the Paterson Police Department. According to NorthJersey.com, seven members of the Paterson Police Department have been arrested as part of a corruption probe by the FBI.
These officers were involved in illegal stops and shakedowns of drug dealers. One of the seven officers has pled guilty to dealing drugs out of his police vehicle, while two more have been arrested for beating a suicidal patient in the hospital on camera.