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Family Pleads for Answers After Calif. Police Fatally Shoot Double Amputee
On Jan. 26, two police officers approached Anthony Lowe, a double amputee who used a wheelchair, on a sidewalk in Huntington Park, Calif., as a suspect in a reported stabbing. After a double amputee was tragically shot by police in California, his family is pleading for answers.
Lowe, whose lower legs had been amputated, is shown on film getting out of a wheelchair and scrambling away from the two armed officers. Lowe, who appears to be armed with a long knife, is pursued by the officers. The two officers then pull their weapons, as seen on video. When the cops fire at Lowe, he is obscured in the footage, but many gunshots can be heard.
Lowe, 36, was declared dead at the scene, according to a statement released by the Huntington Park Police Department on Monday. Lowe “threatening to advance or throw the knife at the officers,” according to a Huntington Park police statement.
Lowe’s family and local activists who are pushing for the officers who shot Lowe to be prosecuted cannot fathom how a disabled suspect posed a sufficient threat to warrant fatal action. “How do you put into words the constraints on his physical mobility?” said Cliff Smith, an organizer with the Coalition for Community Control Over the Police in Los Angeles.
“The cops are working at full capacity. To imply that the officers are in any danger is ridiculous.” Lowe’s sister, Yatoya Toy, described her brother as a “mama’s boy” and the beloved uncle of his nieces and nephews. He enjoyed football, dancing, and rooting for his son and daughter in sporting events.
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At a news conference on Monday, several members of Lowe’s family demanded justice. This week, the family plans to launch a wrongful-death case. “My kid was murdered,” Dorothy Lowe said during a press conference. The shooting is being investigated by Huntington Park police, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Homicide Bureau, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, according to a Huntington Park police statement. The officers involved have been placed on administrative leave.
The police department forwarded a comment request to the city of Huntington Park. Officials from the city did not respond. Lt. Hugo Reynaga of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said that around 3:40 p.m. on Thursday, deputies in Huntington Park responded to a male who claimed to have been stabbed.
According to authorities, the man, who was hospitalized in critical condition as of Monday, gave police a description of the individual he said stabbed him. The description matched Lowe, according to police. Lowe was in a wheelchair on a sidewalk when authorities attempted to arrest him, according to Reynaga.
Bystander videos uploaded on Twitter and TikTok show Lowe exiting his wheelchair and attempting to drag it along as authorities approach him before dropping it and shuffling away. Officers deployed two Tasers on Lowe, but they were “ineffective,” according to a Huntington Park police statement.
According to the bystander video, one officer throws away a firearm and draws another from their holster, aiming at Lowe. After that, a third officer is seen driving up to the area, getting out of a police car, and drawing a weapon. Then, in fast succession, several gunshots are heard.
When the officer’s open fire, they appear to be standing several feet away from Lowe. There is no discussion between Lowe and the officers in the recordings. According to Reynaga, the officers fired roughly ten shots at Lowe. According to the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office, Coroner Lowe died from numerous gunshot wounds.
Officers have studied more video footage of the incident, according to Reynaga, who is a participant in the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department investigation into the shooting. He stated that the Huntington Park Police Department will decide whether or not to release the tape.
Reynaga stated that Huntington Park police officers do not wear body cameras. Toy Lowe, Lowe’s sister, inquired as to why Huntington Park police officers do not wear body cams. Smith said the Coalition for Community Control Over the Police will hold a rally on Sunday to protest the shooting.
Smith questioned the police’s use of fatal force against a crippled person.”He can’t do or go anywhere,” Smith explained. “It’s exhausting just trying to put this into words. I mean, it’s so obvious. “What type of mindset do these policemen have to decide this is the right course of action?” he said.
Toy claimed Lowe had been slowly healing after losing both lower legs in an accident several months ago. He had been sized for prosthetic legs a few weeks before his death, which he would have received Monday, she said.
Lowe’s family is still mourning his passing. He wasn’t present when the family gathered to watch football on Sunday — “You know he’d be spouting nonsense about the 49ers,” Toy said — and he wasn’t around for his son’s first varsity football game. Toy said it didn’t surprise her to be in mourning so quickly after footage of Tyre Nichols’ killing sparked another national crisis over police abuse.
“When I watch the mothers crying, I don’t think, ‘Oh, that couldn’t be me,'” Toy explained. “To be honest, the more I saw it, the closer it became to home for me… I have my own 22-year-old son. I’m scared for him. I also saw my brother. When he was running, he appeared afraid.”
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