The shooting of a city man by an on-duty policewoman led to a protest outside of the Paterson Police Department on Monday night with protesters calling for authorities to release the name of the police officer who shot and wounded 41-year-old Larry “Sincere” Bouie in front of his two nine-year-old sons.
“Justice for Sincere! Justice for Sincere!” shouted about 35 to 40 protesters who gathered outside of the police station in the brisk autumn night as a dozen officers at the entrance of the headquarter looked on. “Justice for Sincere! Justice for Sincere!”
The protesters from Black Lives Matter made four demands: release of the officer’s name, release any footage of Saturday’s shooting, divest in police, and create a civilian review board to oversee the police force.
“We cannot have these things continue to happen,” said Alexis Miller, a leader in the city’s Black Lives Matter group. “If we had mental health professionals, trained to de-escalate these situations, he might not be in the hospital right now. He might be right here with us. He might be trick-or-treating with his family like the rest of Paterson.”
Miller said the city should take funds dedicated for police and use it to hire mental health professionals. She said authorities have yet to release basic information surrounding the incident like the name of the police officer.
“We don’t know the officer’s name or why she did it,” added Zellie Imani, an organizer with Black Lives Matter. One of the protesters described the policewoman as a “coward” for shooting Bouie in front of his two sons.
The Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office which investigates police-involved shootings has neither released the name of the officer nor the victim.
The unidentified policewoman was responding to a report of an emotionally disturbed person on Church Street and Broadway at about 5:50 p.m. on Saturday. Prosecutors said the officer encountered a man “acting erratically” outside of the police headquarters. In the encounter, she discharged her firearm and Bouie was wounded in the abdomen area.
Bouie was taken to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center for treatment. His family said authorities have blocked them from visiting him at the hospital. Authorities said on Sunday afternoon he was treated for his injuries and continues to receive medical care.
No arrests have been made in the shooting, said authorities. Prosecutors said the investigation into the shooting is “active and ongoing.” Authorities have not released any additional information other than an update on the incident on Sunday afternoon.
Bouie’s girlfriend Tasha Wade, who was with him at the time of the shooting, corroborated that he was “acting crazy” on the street. She said she tried to call an ambulance and calm him without success.
Wade said he smoked something that changed his behavior.
“Before we hear all the stories about Sincere being crazy, emotionally disturbed, or being on some type of drug, we just want the name. You don’t shoot people because they are emotionally disturbed,” said Miller. “If you can’t handle somebody with a mental health illness you don’t need this job.”
“She out traumatized that’s going to be her defense,” yelled a woman speaking about the officer involved, who would not provide her name, but found fault with the Paterson Times coverage of the shooting.
One man shouted the name of mayor Frank X. Graves need to be taken down from the public safety complex because he would not stand for such conduct from police officers.
“Frank wouldn’t have it,” said the elderly man. At one point the protesters shouted at the dozen police officers standing at the entrance to the police headquarters.
Bouie’s brother Gregory Bouie said police are targeting his family. He referred to an incident in which several police officers allegedly attacked him that led him to file a federal lawsuit that the city settled paying out $39,500 earlier in the year.
“Paterson police beat me up in 2013 for a domestic violence dispute. They beat me up with handcuff on. I feel like the same thing they did to me, they did to my brother,” said Gregory Bouie.
Gregory Bouie said police have prevented him and his family from visiting his brother at the hospital. “They covering up a lot of stuff,” he alleged. “They know they did something wrong to my family.”
The protesters marched up from the police headquarter through the streets to the City Hall building. Police officers in interceptors escorted the protesters as they marched through the roadway.
Police officers blocked off Market Street between Washington and Colt Streets as the protesters chanted, “Black Lives Matter! Black Lives Matter!” in middle of the street. Two officers got out of squad cars and directed traffic from busy Market Street towards Veterans Place, but one of the protester, seeing the traffic being re-routed, stood in front of the car blocking Veterans Place.
The police officer visibly vexed allowed the woman to block the roadway until she decided to allow the cars to pass through.