Get off my lawn!
A bloodied, agitated suspect writhes uncontrollably, falls down and then goes limp while being handcuffed by Paterson police, body camera footage released Wednesday shows. “I lost his pulse,” a city EMT firefighter tells the officers after they lift a lifeless Jose Gonzalez onto a gurney. “CPR?” one asks. They then remove the cuffs, turn him onto his back and begin chest compressions as the footage ends. Gonzalez, 41, of Paterson, was pronounced dead at St. Joseph’s Regional Medical Center less than an hour later, authorities said. Acting New Jersey Attorney General Andrew J. Bruck released the disturbing footage Wednesday, along with two 911 calls and radio communications, as part of a review of the circumstances surrounding Gonzalez’s death last month. State law and his own guidelines require his office to investigate because the death involved an interaction with police, Bruck said. City police "received multiple 911 calls from the 600 block of Madison Avenue” at 5:26 p.m. Oct. 2 “regarding a man walking on the roofs and attempting to break into homes," the attorney general said. "Officers of the Paterson Police Department and medical personnel responded to the area of 620 Madison Ave. and encountered a man who appeared injured at the exterior rear of the residence," he added. Officers “attempted to aid the injured man," Bruck said. "The man was agitated and officers briefly handcuffed him to permit them to secure him and get him onto a stretcher.” It isn't clear whether Gonzalez is suffering from a mental illness or under the influence of some type of drug when he's first seen on the body cam footage writhing uncontrollably and swinging his arms while grunting and speaking incoherently. His shorts are soaked in blood. Blood smears also stain the door and sides of the home. The officers give him space before the wild-eyed Gonzalez swings himself around and tumbles through the door into the hallway. Then they grab him by the arm and pull him out. Gonzalez briefly flails around on his back before the officers turn him over and handcuff him. “Relax. Relax,” an officer tells him. The face-down Gonzalez remains motionless and unresponsive from that point on. The officers lift the seemingly lifeless Gonzalez onto a gurney, then turn him on his side and belt him on. Gonzalez was pronounced dead at St. Joe’s at 6:22 p.m., Bruck said. State law and his own office's guidelines require the attorney general to investigate deaths that occur “during an encounter with a law enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity or while the decedent is in custody," Bruck said. The guidelines guarantee that the investigation is done “in a full, impartial and transparent manner." Once the investigation is complete, the results are presented to a grand jury -- ordinarily consisting of 16 to 23 citizens -- that determines whether or not criminal charges are in order. Investigators met today with Gonzalez’s family to review the recordings before Bruck released them publicly.