Heated Paterson City Council meeting nearly leads to blows between 2 city officials

A Paterson City Council meeting held Tuesday night became heated and almost led to a physical confrontation between two city officials. The meeting was intended to be a forum for advocates in the wake of the police shooting death of anti-violence activist Najee Seabrooks earlier this month.
The confrontation was between Paterson Council Member Mike Jackson and Javier Silva, the city’s chief financial officer. The situation drew very different reactions between community activists and Paterson leadership.
“You have the CFO, the chief financial officer, who was making a mockery out of the public,” says Kason Little, of BLM Elizabeth.
“[Jackson] put his hands on a woman. And if you watch, he shoved my business administrator, Kathleen Long,” says Mayor Andre Sayegh.
It was all part of a six-hour-long meeting tinged with tension as activists demanded answers for Seabrooks’ death.
“As a community, we have a moral obligation to seek to destroy systems that were designed to still, kill and destroy Black people,” Little said during the meeting.
Little blames Silva for what he says was Silva’s mocking of a speaker during the public comment portion of the meeting.
“For that moment to literally arise was so, so disrespectful and I’m calling for his termination effective immediately,” says Little.
Sayegh says Long is deciding whether to press charges against Jackson, who is currently under indictment in an election fraud case.
“He feeds off the negativity. And unfortunately, our CFO was going to be on the receiving end of that,” says Sayegh.
Jackson did not return a request for comment from News 12 New Jersey on Wednesday.
What exactly happened between Seabrooks and the police officers called to his apartment on March 3 remains unclear.
Sayegh says he “vehemently rejects” the idea of Department of Justice involvement. The mayor says he’s traveling to Omaha, Nebraska in early April to learn from that city’s violence reduction strategies.