The family wants to know why the police shot Anthony Lowe, a double amputee who used a wheelchair
Like every week during football season, the Lowe family gathered Sunday morning to watch NFL games on two large flat screens at the family matriarch’s South Los Angeles home.
But as the San Francisco 49ers prepared to face the Philadelphia Eagles, there was one less family member watching. Anthony Lowe, 36, had been shot and killed by Huntington Park police on Thursday afternoon.
Instead of talking about football, the family whispered about cell phone grainy video they had seen the previous night: Lowe, a double amputee, trying to flee from Huntington Park police on what was left of his legs while clutching a long-bladed knife.
Lowe’s lower legs had been amputated last year. In the video, it looks like he just got off a nearby wheelchair. As he dashed down the sidewalk to get away from the uniformed officers, two police sport utility vehicles drove into the frame and parked, blocking the camera’s view.
The video, which was posted to Twitter on Saturday, then ends abruptly; no footage of the ensuing gunfire has been released.
Yatoya Toy, Lowe’s older sister, identified the man who was fleeing from police as her brother. She said her legs were amputated after an altercation with law enforcement in Texas, although the family has no further information about the incident.
“It’s the first [Sunday] where he’s not watching the game with us. That’s what he loves to do,” Toy said. She always uses the present tense to talk about her brother, who has two teenagers. “He is the life of the family. It brings happiness, joy; He likes dancing. He is very respectable, he loves his mother. He’s the favorite uncle. The kids all love him.”
Lowe’s death is a devastating loss for the close-knit Lowe family, Toy said. And it comes at a time of increasing scrutiny of police brutality and violence following a series of high-profile incidents, including the brutal death of 29-year-old Tire Nichols by Memphis police this month.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Unit is investigating the Lowe shooting, as it typically does all shootings involving Huntington Park Police Department officers, according to the unit’s Lt. Hugo Reynaga. .
A detective from the homicide unit stopped by the home of Dorothy Lowe, the 53-year-old mother of the deceased man, on Saturday to interview her family. They responded, Toy said, by overwhelming the detective with questions about Anthony’s death.
The answers provided by the detective were vague and unconvincing, Jackson said. Their biggest question: What was so threatening about a disabled double amputee with a knife that he had to be shot?
“Something is wrong with this situation,” said Tatiana Jackson, another sister of Lowe’s. “My daughter is 4 and she loves it. It’s going to break my heart to let her know. She doesn’t understand. She was looking for it, like, ‘Is he hiding from me?’ I can’t bring myself to tell him he’s never coming back.
Reynaga said in a phone interview Sunday that the sheriff’s department had collected video of Lowe’s shooting at a nearby business, but had no plans to release the footage. Huntington Park police officers, he said, do not wear body cameras.
Reynaga said two officers shot Lowe “about 10 times. … We recovered 10 or 11 casings from the scene. I don’t know which of those actually hit him.
Reynaga said the names of the two officers who shot Lowe will be released in the coming days. The officers, he said, are on leave “for a few days” while they undergo psychiatric evaluation, and they will be assigned to administrative duties until command personnel clear them to return to the field. pitch.
When asked if there were any discussions about the charges against the officers who opened fire on Lowe, Reynaga replied “no”. The Huntington Park Police Department did not return calls seeking comment on Sunday.
When asked why it was necessary to shoot Lowe, Reynaga noted that officers repeatedly tasered him “to no effect” before opening fire.
The sheriff’s department initial declaration about the investigation into the shooting, released on Friday, said Lowe twice tried to throw his knife at officers. But Reynaga said on Sunday that Lowe “didn’t end up throwing the knife, but he did the motion several times over his head as if he was going to throw the knife.”
Reynaga said he didn’t know how many times Lowe had been shocked.
“He tried to run away, and every time he turned around and made the move like he was going to throw the knife at him, they tasered him,” he said. “They were trying to give this guy the less lethal Taser shock. And because it was inefficient, they had to move on to something more efficient.
Reynaga also provided additional context about an alleged stabbing that took place shortly before Lowe’s death.
In Friday’s statement, the sheriff’s department said a man in a wheelchair – later identified as Lowe – allegedly stabbed a man on Thursday afternoon before fleeing in a wheelchair.
Reynaga said the victim – whose name has not been released – called police to report the alleged stabbing and he suffered a punctured lung and was taken to hospital. Reynaga said he did not know the condition of the man who was stabbed.
Lowe was shot in the “upper torso” and pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting, according to the sheriff’s department release on Friday.
A spokesperson for the LA County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s Office said Sunday Lowe’s time of death was 3:57 p.m. Thursday. Because his body has not yet been examined, the spokesperson said, the office does not have information about his cause of death, the condition of his body or other key details about his death.
The limited information available on the office’s website Sunday afternoon said his place of death was simply a “sidewalk.”
The man who filmed the moments leading up to Lowe’s death could not be reached for comment on Sunday. But the street behind Lowe in the video appears to be the 1900 block of Slauson Avenue in Huntington Park, where the sheriff’s department statement said he died.
On Sunday afternoon, dozens of red and white candles were arranged in the shape of the letters “BR” for BabyRyda, Lowe’s nickname, because he “would always come for his family.” You know, ride for yourself, whether it’s for homework or taking the kids to the park. There was so much he did,” Jackson said.
Dorothy Lowe said she last saw her son several hours before he died. He felt depressed and cooped up in her home, where he had stayed for the last months of his life after losing his legs, and he wanted to get some fresh air, she said. When she last heard from him, he said he was at a nearby McDonald’s.
“He was a good boy who was going up – very funny, always laughing. … If you ask anyone, he was a good person, always helping others,” she said Sunday via a video call from her job as a babysitter. “With her passing, I don’t take death well, and I don’t like how my son was hurt like this, and I want to know what happened. I want to know the truth.”
Los Angeles Times