Double amputee’s family says police ‘killed’ him as footage emerges
A double amputee man was shot and killed by police in California in late January, now his family is accusing the officers of “murder”. But a recently released video appears to refute the allegations.
On January 26, Huntington Park police received a call when witnesses said Anthony Lowe, a double amputee, stabbed a man with a 12-inch carving knife. When police arrived, Lowe remained belligerent and threatened the officers with a blade.
Ordering him to drop the knife and even hitting him with a stun gun, officers eventually shot 36-year-old Lowe after he disobeyed. Lowe, who his family said had recently lost both legs in an accident in Texas, died at the scene.
The family was highly critical of the shooting, arguing that Lowe did not pose a threat and calling the officers’ actions a case of “murder”.
“Let’s call it what it is, it’s pure murder,” said the family’s lawyer, Christian Contreras. KAVS-TV. “Double amputee killed by members of the Huntington Park Police Department.”
“You could tell he was afraid for his life,” added Ebony Simon, mother of Lowe’s son. “He didn’t have legs. It could have been solved in any other way.”
The department released a statement alleging that Lowe was an armed threat and had already stabbed one person.
But another family lawyer, Austin Love, said the department’s characterization of Lowe’s threat was absurd. “Is it really a question that a bipedal amputee, hobbled on his feet, away from the officers, and not next to a single person, poses a real threat to someone?” He said.
Initially, the family also criticized the police for video containment. But on Monday, the video was released showing actions that make it hard to support the charge that police “killed” Lowe.
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In a separate report on Monday KAVS-TV added that the video released by the Huntington Park Police Department also included CCTV footage taken from a nearby gas station. This video shows Lowe jumping out of a wheelchair and limping after a man who was walking away from him. Lowe was then shown stabbing the man from behind in the back.
The victim then stumbled out into the street amid the busy traffic.
The officers did not say if there had been any altercations between the two men prior to the stabbings. But the video showed Lowe attacking the man from behind without warning.
Department officials said officers arrived at the scene just minutes later, after which Low threatened with their knife.
The police video also showed that officers told Lowe to drop the knife several times before the fatal shooting. He was also shocked twice with a stun gun, but he refused to drop the knife and obey police orders to calm down. The video also shows officers approaching Low, but flinch when he raises his weapon. The officers were clearly afraid that he would stab them with a knife.
“I am fully aware of the need for answers and the urge to rush to judgment, but we must let peace and patience guide us through this process,” said Huntington Park Police Chief Cosme Lozano.
Lawyers for Lowe’s family, however, argue that the officers may have reacted differently and may have spared Lowe’s life.
“They could have pulled their shields out of their cars if they were afraid they would be stabbed,” the lawyer said. “There are so many other options besides executing him on the street.”
The incident recalls happening in Seattle, where police confronted an agitated double amputee in August. No one was shot in that incident.
The officers involved in the Lowe shooting have been placed on paid leave and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the incident.
The video shows that the officers did not arrive at the scene with a premeditated decision to shoot Lowe. They repeatedly ordered him to drop the weapon with which he had already wounded one person, and even tried to shoot him down with non-lethal means, hitting him twice with a stun gun.
The whole incident is sad, of course. Obviously, Lowe was in some kind of mental disorder. But making things worse by blaming the police for the “murder” is simply a misreading of the situation.
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