The tragedy of Anthony Lowe’s death has sent shockwaves through the community as his loved ones demand justice. On January 26th, the 36-year-old double amputee, who was confined to a wheelchair, was shot and killed by police in Huntington Park.
Despite his physical limitations, authorities claim that Lowe threatened officers with a 12-inch knife on Slauson Avenue, where a stabbing by a similarly situated individual had been reported earlier that afternoon. This shocking turn of events has sparked calls for a thorough investigation into the circumstances surrounding Lowe’s death.
Police tried to use a stun gun on Lowe, but it did not work, and when Lowe threatened to thorw the knife at officers, at least one opened fire, police added.
On Thursday, Lowe’s family unveiled their plans to sue the Huntington Park Police Department as they believe his death was unjustified.
“Let’s make this clear: what we saw that day, what is on video, is a clear murder. Mr. Lowe was murdered that day,” said Christian Contreras, an attorney for the family. “He was running away, he was not a threat. He was on his stumps, a disabled man killed in broad daylight.”
Lowe’s family and community activists believe he was shot in the back, and they say surveillance video will prove it.
“How do you need to put into words the limitations on his physical mobility?” Cliff Smith of the L.A.-based Coalition for Community Control Over the Police told The Washington Post. “The officers are in their full capacity. It’s beyond absurd to say that the officers are in any risk.”
Austin Dove, another attorney for the Lowe family, said the officers created the fear, and “lethal force is a last resort.”
“There were so many other options … There’s no reason to pull out guns and fire and shoot a person who’s disabled, who can’t even move, and whose wheelchair is a few feet behind him, and you shoot him 11 times,” Dove said.
In a Monday press conference, Lowe’s family mourned his death and directly placed the blame on the officers.
“I just want the truth, nothing but the truth and justice for my son,” said Lowe’s mother, Dorothy Lowe, said in the previous news conference. “My son was murdered.”
Video shows that in the moments leading up to the shooting, Lowe was out of his wheelchair and was attempting to walk away from the officers.
“This is a man, a father, a son, a brother who was gunned down by the police, so that’s what matters to us right now,” added Lowe’s sister, Yatoya Toy, who added that Lowe’s legs were amputated last year after an altercation with law enforcement in Texas.
Huntington Park officers do not wear body cameras, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department has not released any surveillance video.
The officers involved have been placed on administrative leave while the investigation continues.