Thursday, February 02, 2023

What Was So Threatening About A Double Amputee With A Knife That Necessitated Shooting Him?

LATimes |  As they do every week during football season, the Lowe family gathered Sunday morning to watch the NFL games on two big flat screens in the South Los Angeles home of the family matriarch.

But as the San Francisco 49ers prepared to face off against the Philadelphia Eagles, there was one fewer family member watching. Anthony Lowe, 36, had been shot and killed by Huntington Park police officers Thursday afternoon.

Instead of talking football, the family spoke in hushed tones of the grainy cellphone video they’d seen the night before: Lowe, a double amputee, trying to run from Huntington Park police officers on what was left of his legs while holding a long-bladed knife.

Lowe’s lower legs had been amputated last year. In the video, he appears to have just dismounted from a nearby wheelchair. As he scrambled down the sidewalk 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 on Twitter on Saturday, then abruptly ends; no footage of the ensuing gunfire has been released.

Yatoya Toy, Lowe’s older sister, identified the man running from police as her brother. She said that his legs had been amputated after an altercation with law enforcement in Texas, and that the family also has questions about that incident.

“This is the first [Sunday] where he ain’t watching the game with us. It’s what he loves to do,” Toy said. She still uses present tense when referring to her brother, who has two teenage children. “He’s the life of the family. He brings happiness, joy; he loves to dance. He’s 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 increased scrutiny of police brutality and violence after a string of high-profile incidents, including the beating death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols by Memphis Police this month.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s homicide unit is investigating Lowe’s shooting, as it typically does for all shootings involving Huntington Park Police Department officers, according to the unit’s Lt. Hugo Reynaga.

A detective with the homicide unit stopped by the home of Dorothy Lowe, the dead man’s 53-year-old mother, Saturday to interview family. They responded, Toy said, by peppering the detective with questions about Anthony’s death.

The answers the detective provided were vague and unpersuasive, said Tatiana Jackson, another sister of Lowe. Their biggest question: What was so threatening about a disabled double amputee with a knife that it necessitated shooting him?