PATERSON, N.J. (PIX11) — Battles over parliamentary procedure, politics and frustration over the embattled police department all bubbled to the surface during an eight-hour City Council meeting Tuesday night in Paterson, New Jersey, where some called on Mayor Andre Sayegh to resign.
“Not only with the killing of Najee [Seabrooks], the disappearance of Felix De Jesus, all the situation that we are facing, this community – we are in crisis,” said Councilman Alex Mendez.
A large crowd of residents packed the council chambers, hoping to voice their opinions about the newly announced takeover of the city police department by the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office and their displeasure with Sayegh.
“Now the AG is here. Thank you, AG. Thank you for coming in, sir. You better believe it, when the feds come down on his (expletive), he gon throw you right up under the bus,” said Paterson resident Valerie Freeman.
Prior to the council meeting and on the steps of City Hall, community activists joined relatives of several men who died during previous encounters with Paterson police officers.
“My brother was killed one year, two months, and 27 days ago. We still have not received any type of justice,” said Sinthya Rodriguez.
Some who turned out called on Sayegh to resign.
PIX11 News reached out to Mayor Sayegh for comment. He sent PIX11 News a statement that said:
“My administration strives to have the highest level of accountability. We have implemented a multitude of changes in the police department. I take my job very personally and direct my administration to meet the needs of residents on a daily basis.”