On October 3rd, a heated Paterson Council meeting nearly turned into a fist fight after Councilman Michael Jackson and Vice President Luis Velez got into a verbal exchange and shoving match while in session. The moment was caught on video posted by council candidate Sebastian Mejia on his Facebook page. Shown in the video, Jackson stands up from his seat and approaches Velez while exchanging grievances, but a police officer interjects and there is shoving between Jackson and the officer. In the video, the public is heard yelling pleas for Jackson to halt his attack.
Jackson and Velez apparently have a history of tension and have traded insults at previous gatherings. The meeting was eventually suspended and council members vowed to reschedule in a virtual setting.
Some citizens are calling for Councilman Jackson’s resignation from the role due to his inappropriate behavior, while others are more understanding of his emotional outburst and are proud to see someone with such ‘unmatched passion’ for Paterson.