Publication: South Passaic Daily Voice
Author: Jerry DeMarco
Date: March, 4, 2023
– The shooting death of a Paterson non-violence activist following a five-hour barricaded standoff with city police has a pained, shaken and angry community demanding answers.
– Officers initially responded to a report of an emotionally disturbed person who’d locked himself in a room at an apartment at 20 Mill Street and had set a small bathroom fire that was quickly extinguished. The next thing anyone knew, Seabrooks had been shot by two of them.
– Several civic groups and leaders accused city police of ignoring Seabrooks’s emotionally disturbed state and allowing the situation to escalate before exacting a fatal solution. It’s
particularly painful to many that Seabrooks not only had survived street violence but had become a leader in trying to bring peace to the Silk City.
– “He was a great mediator,” said Liza Chowdhury of the Paterson Healing Collective. “He did so much to help our youth.”
– What Seabrooks did with inner-city youngsters was “life-changing, soul-saving kind of work,” political candidate Akkheem L. Dunham wrote.
– “We knew or knew of him as a relative of a friend, as a son, brother, nephew, grandson,” Dunham added, “but to me the most important role I seen him as is a trendsetter!”
– “Najee dedicated his life to reducing gun violence in Paterson and worked every day as a high-risk violence interventionist alongside his colleagues at the Paterson Healing Collective,” which is an arm of the coalition, the group said in an emailed statement.- It’s all “a tragic reminder that there is still much work to be done….,” the coalition added. “We will honor his memory by carrying on the mission he dedicated his life to, and we will not rest until we have created a safer and more just community for all.”