A man pleading for his life and seeking emergency help at a Paterson, N.J., police station as he breathed heavily and begged for water, died in a hospital, sparking protests in the city and a demand for answers, the NY Post reports.
Jameek Lowery, 27, sought help while filming a cell phone video as he walked into the police station, seemingly delirious, asking officers not to shoot him and urgently begging for water, according to NorthJersey.com.
“I’m just paranoid,” Lowery says in the video recorded on Saturday morning. “I just need some water.”
An officer asked Lowery if he wanted to go to the hospital to which he responded yes. Lowery asked for water to quench his thirst to which an officer responded: “All right, the hospital has water.”
Lowery was transported to St. Joseph’s University Medical Center where he was placed on life support and ultimately died on Monday.
“If I’m dead in an hour or two, they did it,” Lowery said of the officers.
Police said that Lowery called 911 and told a dispatcher that he had taken too many ecstacy tablets.
However, although toxicology reports are incomplete Lowery’s family members said they were told by staff at the hospital where he died that he was checked for eight different narcotics and results came back negative, according to NorthJersey.com.
His family wants to know exactly what happened to Lowery after the video ended since he arrived at the hospital in critical condition.
“His face wasn’t like that in the video,” his brother, Jamir King, told the Post.
King also said Lowery had a broken cheekbone and fractured eye socket by the time he reached the hospital.
“He was extremely paranoid, he was terrified and he had no shoes on,” said Hawk Newsome, of Black Lives Matter. “What I did notice was his face looked good and within a few hours he was dead.”
“I want justice, I need the truth and I’m not going nowhere until I get the truth,” said Lowery’s mother Patrice King.
A group of protesters rallied in Paterson on Tuesday night and called for clarity and answers that would explain what happened to the man and led to his unexpected death.
“What did those cops do? What are they not telling us?” a protester told NBC NewYork.
Paterson Police Director Jerry Speziale said an autopsy of Lowery is underway.
“I want you to have those answers. Right or wrong, I want you to have those answers,” he said at a city council meeting Tuesday night.
The officers involved in the case have been placed on administrative leave, officials said.