PATERSON, N.J. (PIX11) — Frustrations boiled over during a Tuesday night City Council meeting in Paterson, New Jersey.
“The Seabrooks situation is a very sad situation,” said one angered resident.
Residents talked about the recent police-involved fatal shooting of Najee Seabrooks and several other controversial police-involved incidents.
There are now growing calls for federal oversight of the police department.
Crystal Garcia is the sister-in-law of Felix DeJesus – who has been missing for more than a year shortly after being in police custody.
“Felix DeJesus, Najee Seabrooks, Jameek Lowery, Thelonious McKnight, Haneif Booker, Khalif Cooper, Ssamah Alsaidi, Jerel Wilkins, Gregory Linden, just to name a few,” said Garcia. “We continue to demand and actively seek that the attorney general’s office request that the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights division start a pattern and practice investigation into the Paterson police department. It is long overdue.”
City Council Member Luis Velez says he has no issue with federal oversight.
“If that’s going to bring some kind of peace to our city – let it be. We welcome it. There’s nothing to hide – why not let them come in?” said Velez
Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh is resistant to federal intervention. His office sent PIX11 News a lengthy statement detailing his administration’s police reform efforts, adding:
“While I understand that the recent tragic events have led to calls for federal intervention…such intervention is not needed, and that a better use of our federal resources would be to complement our ongoing local efforts and to invest in our communities.”