by Peter Aseltine
PATERSON, N.J. – The Attorney General’s Office is conducting an investigation into the death of a woman who died in the custody of the Paterson Police Department on Friday, Feb. 18. The identity of the woman, age 57, is not being released at this time.
According to the preliminary investigation, emergency medical personnel were called to Paterson Police Headquarters on Friday after the woman, who was lying on a bench in a holding cell, was found to be unresponsive at approximately 6 p.m. when an officer conducted a prisoner check. The woman was pronounced deceased at the police facility at 6:16 p.m.
The woman was arrested by the Paterson Police Department on Thursday afternoon on a charge of possession of crack cocaine.
This investigation is being conducted pursuant to Attorney General Directive 2019-4, which implements the statutory requirement that the Attorney General’s Office conduct the investigation of any death that occurs during an encounter with a law enforcement officer acting in the officer’s official capacity or while the decedent is in custody, and which establishes clear standards and procedures for conducting such investigations.
The investigation is ongoing and no further information is being released at this time.