Video shows tense negotiations before police fatally shot N.J. man after hours-long standoff

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Authorities released body camera footage depicting the shooting that killed Paterson, New Jersey violence intervention advocate Najee Seabrooks.
The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office released the footage Thursday afternoon, along with seven 911 calls from the more than five-hour interaction between Seabrooks and Paterson Police.

Phone calls show Seabrooks, who was experiencing a mental health episode, called police himself, apparently afraid that he was in danger.

“I’ve received death threats,” Seabrooks told dispatchers. “I need help being escorted to my car.”

By the time police arrived at the scene, Seabrooks had locked himself in a bathroom. Family members told officers Seabrooks was hallucinating and behaving erratically, according to a statement from the Attorney General’s office.

Throughout the footage, police are seen negotiating with Seabrooks, with guns drawn. At times, the 31-year-old man can be heard both complying with police and threatening to harm himself and officers.

Authorities said police fired multiple rounds of rubber bullets at Seabrooks before he lunged at officers with a knife in hand. It’s difficult to make out exactly what happened at that point in the video released Thursday — police gear obstructs the view during much of the encounter.

Seabrooks’ death has spurred protests in Paterson and calls for reform across New Jersey.

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