California police shot and killed a black double amputee as he tried to flee
On Thursday, two Huntington Park Police Department officers in Los Angeles County fatally shot Anthony Lowe, a black double amputee who was walking away from them without his wheelchair.
Huntington police told CNN officers were responding to reports of a stabbing and found a victim with a “life-threatening stab wound” when they encountered Lowe, 36.
The stabbing victim reportedly described the assailant as a black man in a wheelchair who dismounted and “ran up to the victim without provocation and stabbed him in the side of the chest with a 12″ butcher knife.”
Authorities said Lowe was found a few blocks from the victim with a knife on him. They alleged that he ignored orders to drop the knife and threatened to throw it, and that they tried but failed to subdue him using Tasers.
Both officers fired about 10 rounds at Lowe, a police spokesperson told the Los Angeles Times. Lowe was struck in the upper torso and pronounced dead at the scene.
Mobile phone pictures watch a man on a sidewalk next to a wheelchair as officers walk towards him; he tries to walk away without the wheelchair.
“I am heartbroken and filled with anger and rage,” Lowe’s sister Tatiana Jackson told The Guardian. “I just can’t understand why they would do this to someone in a wheelchair. I want someone to explain to me what was the reason you had to shoot a guy with no legs.
Lowe’s death sparked local protests by activists against police brutality. His family is calling for the officers to be fired and charged with murder.
“They murdered my son, in a wheelchair with no legs,” his mother, Dorothy Lowe, said Monday outside the Huntington Park Police Department, according to CBS News. “They have to do something about it.”
An initial statement from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which is investigating the incident, claimed Lowe threatened to “throw the knife.” A spokesperson later told the Los Angeles Times, however, that Lowe only “made the motion…like he was going to.”
Footage captured from the crash does not show police ordering Lowe to drop the knife.
“He was running away from them like he was scared for his life,” Ebonique Simon, the mother of Lowe’s son, told the Guardian. “It could have been handled differently. But they chose the shots as the solution to the problem. It’s crazy.
On Wednesday afternoon, the California attorney general’s office told CNN it was not investigating the case, despite a state law requiring them to review shootings involving police officers.
Lowe’s killing came amid nationwide protests over the fatal beating by Memphis police officers of 29-year-old Tire Nichols.
Lowe’s family told the outlet that he was living in Texas when his legs were amputated, but had recently moved back to California. Simon said he was depressed by the loss of his legs, but his son’s success in football made him happy.
“They thought this man had no family and they could sweep this story under the rug,” Simon told the Guardian. “But I’m not going to give up until justice is served for my son. How is a child going to feel about the police now that you’ve shot his father? »