Jameek Lowery, the man who would be unresponsive minutes after live broadcasting a video from the police station presaging his own doom, called 911 early Saturday morning and told an ambulance dispatcher, “I think I took too many e-pills, ecstasy pills.”
Lowery, 27, requested an ambulance be dispatched to 135 Godwin Avenue to transport him to St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center.
“What’s going on with you?” the dispatcher asks Lowery after he tells her he had taken too many pills.
“I’m paranoid,” responds Lowery.
“Is this your first time?” she asks.
“Yeah,” he responds in the one-minute recording released on Tuesday afternoon.
Police released recordings of three 911 calls Lowery made on Saturday morning in response to records requests from news organizations.
Some of his family members had said toxicology tests showed he had not taken any drugs.
Lowery made the first call at 2:45 a.m. He made a second phone call while at the Wendy’s on Broadway, two-minute walk from the police headquarters.
“Help me! I need help. They are going to kill me,” he tells the 911 operator in the second call at 3:42 a.m.
Lowery then walks to the Frank X. Graves Public Safety Complex. He enters the lobby of the police station and asks for help. He makes a third 911 call from the police headquarters.
“Don’t shoot me in here, please! Don’t kill me, please,” he is heard saying in the third phone call at 3:49 a.m.
Police requested an ambulance, which arrived at 3:55 a.m., to take him to the hospital. He walked to the ambulance and arrived at the hospital at 4:08 a.m. He was unresponsive when he arrived, according to the family and the prosecutor’s office.
Lowery was pronounced dead early Monday morning.
Inside the ambulance, police used force and compliance holds to secure him, according to information released by Passaic County prosecutor Camelia Valdes. Her office is conducting an investigating into Lowery’s death.
Three police officers have been placed on administrative leave pending the completion of the investigation, according to law enforcement sources.
“All scans were negative for any acute traumatic injuries,” reads a hospital report obtained by the Paterson Times. But family members say the man’s face, which did not have bruises when he streamed a video on Facebook, had scratches.
Lowery had ecchymosis, a discoloration of the skin resulting from bleeding underneath, in the periorbital region, situated or occurring around the orbit of the eye, according to the same hospital report.
“He was badly beaten,” said Lowery’s aunt Monique James at the protest outside City Hall on Tuesday night.
Lowery’s mother, Patrice King, demanded the investigation be transferred out of Passaic County. She and other protesters said the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office has too close a relationship with the police force.
200 people protested in front of City Hall and the police station on Tuesday. At times the protest became tense. A standoff with police led to some of the protesters being maced. Many of the leaders of the protest wanted the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office to take over the investigation.
Police director Jerry Speziale told the protesters and the family the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office receives a notification whenever an incident involves police officers.
The family received few answers from municipal officials on Tuesday night.
“I can’t give you the answer. I don’t think none of us or even the system here can give you the answer,” said councilman William McKoy. He urged mayor Andre Sayegh’s administration to communicate with the state attorney general and have his office take over the investigation. “It’s very difficult for the local prosecutor to investigate this type of a situation knowing their close working relationship with the police department.”
McKoy said the prosecutor’s office’s relationship with police is a “too cozy.”
Some answers will emerge after an autopsy is completed. The cause and manner of Lowery’s death will be determined by the New Jersey Regional Medical Examiner’s Office, said Valdes in her statement.
“We need the truth,” said McKoy.
Lowery leaves behind three children – two boys and a girl. The girl, the youngest, is 11 months old, according to family members.
Exactly a week before he augured his own death on live video, Lowery had a chance meeting with the mayor. He saw Sayegh at the American Fried Chicken on Broadway on Saturday, Dec. 29, 2018. He walked inside the restaurant, told the mayor he had always wanted to meet him and that he often sees him on Facebook.
“It was a very pleasant conversation we had. It was so pleasant, I told him if he ever wanted to visit me at City Hall, he had an open invitation,” said Sayegh on Tuesday night. “Unfortunately, that meeting will never happen at City Hall.”
Correction: A previous version of this report — ‘I took too many e-pills,’ Paterson man told ambulance dispatcher before his death — erroneously stated Sayegh met Lowery at Margarita’s Deli. In fact, he met Lowery at the American Fried Chicken on Broadway.