State v. Newsome

Community members in Paterson marched to demand answers surrounding the death of Jameek Lowery in police custody. After a demonstration on January 11, 2019, community members marched with signs down the streets of Paterson. They carried signs and chanted slogans demanding accountability and condemning police brutality. There was no police presence on the march. After some time, and without warning, police on motorcycles stopped the marchers are arrested two of the perhaps 100 marchers. The people arrested were leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement in NY (Hawk Newsome) and Paterson (Zellie Thomas). Although there was nothing resembling violence, police neither provided any warning to the marchers nor attempted to redirect them to avoid traffic disruptions. The men were targeted for their role in organizing the on-going protests.

The ACLU-NJ represents Mr. Newsome, defending against the criminal charges.


On March 4, 2020, trial began before the Paterson Municipal Court; trial adjourned and then was significantly delayed by COVID-19. It is scheduled to resume on November 18, 2020. 

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