California police fatally shoot double amputee, raising the question: Was lethal force justified?

A body of video displaying two Huntington Park Law enforcement officials pointing their weapons at 36-year-old Anthony Lowe Jr., a double amputee, moments earlier than he was shot and killed by police. (by way of Twitter/Mike Sington)

A Los Angeles County police division is dealing with intense criticism this week after a video surfaced on social media of two officers fatally shooting a double amputee transferring away from them.

The brief video confirmed the 36-year-old Black man, Anthony Lowe Jr., lacking the underside halves of each legs, holding a knife however leaving his wheelchair and shuffling away from the officers.

Jeffrey Fagan, a Columbia College regulation professor who’s an skilled on policing, advised Yahoo Information in an e-mail that the main points of the case name into query whether or not using deadly pressure was warranted.

“It is arduous to think about that the police couldn’t disarm a person in a wheelchair with both a Taser or another much less deadly pressure,” Fagan mentioned. “Police usually observe a ‘20-foot rule’ because the zone round a suspect when they’re free from hazard, and that they’re in peril inside that zone. … I feel most affordable individuals would have thought the police had overstated the menace and have been utilizing an unreasonable stage of pressure.”

A protest sign for Anthony Lowe Jr.

The household of double amputee Anthony Lowe Jr. is demanding solutions as to why Huntington Park cops shot and killed a person whose decrease legs have been amputated final yr. (Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Instances)

In line with police, the Huntington Park, Calif., officers responded to a stabbing incident final Thursday afternoon during which the sufferer suffered a collapsed lung and inside bleeding. The sufferer claimed {that a} suspect matching Lowe’s description stabbed him and fled in his wheelchair.

See also  Man arrested after threatening passenger mid flight

The responding officers mentioned they recognized Lowe because the suspect and tried to apprehend him. The police assertion mentioned they tased Lowe twice after he resisted detainment, “however the deployment of the Taser was ineffective.”

The 2 officers ultimately fired about 10 rounds at Lowe, in line with the Huntington Park Police Division’s Lt. Hugo Reynaga, who advised the Los Angeles Instances that the incident was below investigation.

Lowe’s household doesn’t settle for the police clarification and they’re pushing for the officers to be charged in his dying. Lowe’s sister Yatoya Toy advised the Instances that his legs have been amputated “after an altercation with regulation enforcement in Texas, and that the household additionally has questions on that incident.”

“One thing just isn’t proper with this example,” one other sister, Tatiana Jackson, advised the paper about Lowe, a father of two. “My daughter is 4, and she or he adores him. It’s going to interrupt my coronary heart to let her know.”

Family and friends of Anthony Lowe

Household and mates of Anthony Lowe. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP by way of Getty Photos)

“They murdered my son, in a wheelchair with no legs,” Lowe’s mom, Dorothy Lowe, mentioned Monday at a press convention. “They do must do one thing about it.”

The division didn’t reply to a number of requests for remark from Yahoo Information, however in an official assertion mentioned that authorities “acknowledge the affect on the neighborhood and the households” that the taking pictures could have prompted and guarantee a “complete investigation” with transparency and integrity.

However critics are skeptical of the police account, notably after different high-profile incidents during which police killed different Black males and exaggerated the menace posed by them. Final Friday, the town of Memphis launched a stunning video of cops fatally beating 29-year-old Black man Tyre Nichols. The police report had mentioned Nichols tried to battle with officers, however the video confirmed him complying with their requests and rising more and more limp because the bodily abuse continued.

See also  What happened to Damar Hamlin?

Within the Huntington Park taking pictures, the police assertion mentioned Lowe twice tried to throw the knife at officers. However Reynaga advised the Instances that Lowe “didn’t throw the knife in the end, however he made the movement a number of occasions over his head like he was going to throw the knife.”

Keyenie Jackson, center, sister of Anthony Lowe, hugging niece Arian Lowe

Keyenie Jackson, in crimson hoodie, heart, sister of Anthony Lowe, comforts Arian Lowe, 15, daughter of Anthony Lowe, Jan. 30. (Gary Coronado/Los Angeles Instances)

Native activists really feel the inconsistency is a part of an try and make Lowe look like an even bigger menace to the officers than he was.

“Anthony was brutally executed by Huntington Park cops final Thursday in an assault that was vicious and cowardly,” Cliff Smith, an organizer with the Coalition for Neighborhood Management Over the Police, mentioned at Monday’s press convention, including that neighborhood members don’t believe within the investigation. “Anthony has a powerful household, and we’re right here to face along with his household to battle for justice.”

The temporary cellphone footage of the police chasing Lowe doesn’t seize the taking pictures, and particulars in regards to the incident are scarce. Reynaga mentioned the names of the officers can be launched within the coming days. He mentioned Huntington Park officers don’t put on physique cameras.

“The video is just one piece of the investigative course of,” Keith Taylor, a 23-year NYPD veteran and adjunct professor at CUNY John Jay Faculty of Felony Justice, advised Yahoo Information.

The Huntington Park Police Department sign

The Huntington Park Police Division is below heavy criticism for the police-involved killing of Anthony Lowe Jr. (Patrick T. Fallon/AFP by way of Getty Photos)

Taylor famous that questions on the place Lowe was operating and who else he may have been operating in direction of stay unanswered.

See also  Japan minister quits over execution remark, PM delays trip

“If officers are utilizing deadly pressure, of their minds, they should imagine that they or another person is in imminent hazard of great bodily harm or dying,” he mentioned. “That’s customary all through the nation. The investigation has to have a look at movies, witnesses and officers, themselves, as to why their thought course of had to make use of that stage of pressure to cease the person with a knife.”

The nonprofit Mapping Police Violence launched a report this week that discovered police killed 1,192 individuals in 2022, greater than any yr previously decade. The report additionally claimed that many of those killings may have been averted by altering regulation enforcement’s method to such encounters, akin to sending psychological well being suppliers to sure 911 calls.


Cowl thumbnail images: Screengrab of video on Twitter/MikeSington