Paterson police to be equipped with body cameras following corruption probe

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Officers in the Paterson Police Department will soon be outfitted with body cameras – a decision that comes after the FBI arrested eight officers in a corruption investigation.

Mayor Andre Sayegh says that putting cameras on the city’s 150 police officers benefits everyone.

“Because it holds everyone accountable in every interaction,” the mayor says. “Police officers and whomsoever is part of that incident.

The city will pay a company named Axon Enterprise $600,000 for the cameras and video storage over a 5-year period. The money will come from forfeiture funds.

The cameras also come one year after the death of Paterson resident Jameek Lowery, who died while in police custody. Sayegh says that if police had cameras at the time, it is possible that the case would have played out differently.

RELATED: Authorities: 8th Paterson officer facing charges in corruption probe 
RELATED: Officials: Paterson man who died in police custody had ingested ‘bath salts’ 

"It would've given more clarity early on without having to wait for an autopsy. You would've seen exactly what the officers did,” he says.

Lowery, 27, showed up at police headquarters behaving erratically and claiming he took too much ecstasy. An investigation showed that he tried to fight off police officers as they placed him in an ambulance and that police had to use force to keep him down.

An autopsy showed he had meningitis and had ingested the drug known as “Bath Salts.” The report stated that Lowery didn't die because of police brutality.

The mayor says that perhaps if the cameras were in use, the public would've known much sooner what really happened.

"We just want to make sure on both sides, public and police, we know what's happening,” Sayegh says.

Officers should be receiving the cameras within the next few months.

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