Paterson man’s death after bizarre police HQ visit ruled accidental
A medical examiner ruled that the death of a man who live-streamed a frantic trip to Paterson police headquarters in January, claiming cops were trying to kill him, was accidental and not the result of police use of force.
The mother of 27-year-old Jameek Lowery, however, has rejected the findings.
Lowery called 911 at 2:45 a.m. on Jan. 5 and told the dispatcher that he had taken ecstasy and was paranoid, according to Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes. He was taken to St. Joseph's Medical Center for treatment and released.
He began to behave erratically and jumped out of a cab on his way home, Valdes said.
Lowery called 911 and again claimed someone was trying to kill him and wound up at police headquarters.
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 in the video that 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." Lowery arrived at the hospital five to 12 minutes later, he was unresponsive, and died two days later.
Lowery's death prompted several protests at Paterson City Hall demanding answers about his death. Police used Mace to break up one of the protests.
The state medical examiner's office said that pre-existing medical conditions combined with Lowery's ingestion of bath salts triggered "an adverse physical reaction including multiple organ failure and cardiac arrest." It was not the result of any action by police or fire personnel, according to the report.
No criminal charges will be filed.
His mother, Patrice King, rejected the conclusions of the report and told the Paterson Times "it's bulls---. We know he was murdered."
Mayor Andre Sayegh called the investigation "thorough" and expressed condolences to Lowery's family for Jameek's "untimely death."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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