Cops used force on ‘paranoid’ NJ man who later died at hospital
PATERSON — He thought police were out to kill him. And he ended up dead.
A man who died in the hospital two days after he walked into the city's police headquarters and recorded live video in which he claims police would kill him, was physically and forcefully restrained by cops when they put him into an ambulance Saturday morning.
By the time Jameek Lowery, 27, arrived at the hospital five to 12 minutes later, he was unresponsive, Passaic County prosecutors said Tuesday, a day after Lowery died at St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center.
Lowery's death has raised questions and attracted attention because of the two seemingly prophetic Facebook videos in which he believes his life is in imminent danger.
Prosecutors on Tuesday released more information about Lowery's encounter with police, confirming that he was transported to the hospital directly from headquarters.
But authorities have not said what caused Lowery's death, which is being investigated by the state Regional Medical Examiner's Office. His brother told reporters he had a broken cheekbone and fractured eye socket, injuries that were not evident in the two bizarre videos Lowery posted on Facebook before his hospitalization.
Officials said Lowery called 911 about 2:45 a.m. Saturday saying he had taken ecstasy and was paranoid. He was taken by ambulance to a hospital and left "sometime after becoming erratic," prosecutors said.
A 3:42 a.m. he called 911 again saying that people were trying to kill him, prosecutors said. At 3:45 a.m. he went into police headquarters, "where he appeared agitated," officials said. While at police headquarters, he called 911 again and requested an ambulance.
It's at headquarters where Lowery made his videos. Police are seen calmly responding to a profusely sweating Lowery, who begged for a drink of water that police declined to provide. Lowery says he believes police will kill him because he's been working with the FBI.
"Please help me," he said. "Please don't kill me, though."
Dehydration and high blood pressure and heart rate are known serious side effects of ecstasy, the drug that Lowery claimed he had taken.
Prosecutors say initial reports indicate police used "physical force and compliance holds to secure Mr. Lowery in the ambulance."
Hospital records indicate "no acute trauma," prosecutors said without elaborating.
Mayor Andre Sayegh said Tuesday that he supports a "full investigation."
"In the meantime, I have expressed my condolences to the family of Mr. Lowery, who are suffering during this difficult time."
Police Director Jerry Speziale told NorthJersey.com that several officers who encountered Lowery were placed on administrative leave.
Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-359-5348 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.