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Cause of death for Paterson man who begged police for water was cardiac arrest while under the influence of bath salts

Posted at 5:54 PM, Aug 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-12 18:06:46-04

PATERSON, NJ — A Paterson man who died after he begged police for help was killed by cardiac arrest while under the influence of bath salts, officials said Monday.

Jameek Lowery

Protestors flooded the streets of Paterson after the Jan. 7 death of Jameek Lowery, 27. Chaos broke out as residents demanded justice for Lowery.

He’d called 911 at 2:45 on Jan. 5 and told officials he’d taken ecstasy and was paranoid. Security personnel escorted Lowery, who was acting erratically, from the hospital at 3:25 a.m. Lowery got in a cab, but got out at a red light and ran toward Paterson Police Headquarters, officials said. He called 911 again at 3:42 and said someone was trying to killed him. About three minutes later, he walked into police headquarters. He was barefoot and broadcasted his interaction with police on Facebook live.

Video showed Lowery was sweating profusely and foaming at the mouth. He asked for help and for water.

“We’re not allowed to,” officers said to the requests for water

Lowery was taken to a hospital again just after 4 a.m. — this time with officers in the ambulance, officials said. He was combative and officers punched Lowery several times so that they could restrain him and strap him to a gurney. Lowery lost consciousness and needed to be resuscitated at the hospital.

He died two days later.

The Medical Examiner determined Lowery’s death was accidental. The bath salts coupled with pre-existing medical conditions triggered multiple organ failure and cardiac arrest.

Officials said the reaction was unrelated to the force police used. There won’t be criminal charges against any of the officers involved, the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office said.