In the latest evidence that the police would much rather use lethal force than common sense, a handicapped Black man who had both of his legs amputated was shot to death by police officers in Los Angeles who claimed they feared for their lives because he was brandishing a knife.
Anthony Lowe, 36, died last week after officers from the Huntington Park Police Department chased him while he fled on the stumps of his legs, video footage recorded by a bystander shows.
The Los Angeles Times reported that Lowe was “holding a long-bladed knife” during the slow chase last Thursday. The rate at which Lowe was fleeing did not appear to be fast enough to elude officers. Still, they opted for lethal force after they claim the deployment of a Taser was “ineffective.”
A 30-second long clip posted on social media showed Lowe scurrying away from a wheelchair as the police pointed guns at him. While the footage does show Lowe motion as if he was about to throw the knife — and the officers do flinch — it never appeared as though the officers’ lives were under a direct threat.
Please be advised the video does not show the officers opening fire but is still graphic in nature.
Police said in a press release that Lowe was shot in the “upper torso” and pronounced dead on the scene.
The Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department’s homicide unit is investigating the shooting.
Huntington Park Police Department officers are not equipped with body-worn cameras, so the bystander’s video is crucial to the investigation.
Police claim officers responded to a call reporting a stabbing by a man in a wheelchair.
Police spokesperson Lt. Hugo Reynaga defended the officers’ shooting.
“He tried to run away, and every time he turned around and did the motion like he was gonna throw the knife at him, they tased him,” Reynaga told the LA Times. “They were trying to give this guy the less-lethal taser shock. And because it was ineffective, they had to go to something that was more effective.”
The officers involved have not been identified and were placed on administrative leave, which is another way to say that they were not fired and remain on the payroll despite shooting and killing a man with no legs who appeared to pose no mortal threat against trained policemen.
Lowe’s family is demanding justice for officers feeling the need to shoot and kill a double-amputee who was fleeing. They claim the police are not being forthcoming and suggested there is a coverup.
“They refuse to give everything we need to know what really happened to him,” Lowe’s cousin, Ellakenyada Gorum, told local news outlet KCAL. “He was not homeless, he was loved. And it’s sad, really sad, that they’re getting away from killing our African American people, just getting away with it. He was in a wheelchair. What more could he do? What more could he do?”
Lowe’s mother didn’t mince her words.
“My son was murdered,” Dorothy Lowe said. “I don’t want nobody to react on it. I just want y’all to get justice.”
Notably, Lowe’s police killing came on the heels of the death of Tyre Nichols, who was brutally beaten by officers in Memphis following a traffic stop for the alleged nonviolent offense of “reckless driving.”
This is America.
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