The family of Anthony Lowe Jr is calling for justice after the 36-year-old double amputee was shot and killed by police officers in Huntington Park, California, last Thursday afternoon.
In a confrontation captured on video by a bystander and posted to social media, Mr Lowe, who uses a wheelchair, is seen holding a knife and scrambling away from multiple police officers who appear to be pointing weapons at him.
Shortly thereafter, police shot Mr Lowe multiple times and killed him.
“You guys knew your lives wasn’t in danger,” Mr Lowe’s cousin Ellakenyada Gorum told KCAL in Los Angeles. “He’s running on his limbs. How cold-hearted could they be?”
The Huntington Park Police Department told the television station that its officers responded to a call around 3:45 on Thursday afternoon from a man who reported that he had been stabbed by a man in a wheelchair. After police arrived at the scene, they found and confronted Mr Lowe.
Police said the officers first attempted to taser Mr Lowe, but were unable to stop him from threatening them with the knife. Next, they shot him. The video below may be upsetting, but does not include footage of the shooting itself.
My cousin got this a few days ago. The gun shots happen a few seconds after he stop recording. I’m not sure what the backstory is. #huntingtonpark #hppd #policeshooting #wheelchair #LASD pic.twitter.com/TXaY61a0in
— WaFlo (@WaFlo998) January 28, 2023
To Mr Lowe’s family, the notion that police had to fatally shoot Mr Lowe to protect themselves strains credulity.
“Be realistic about this, what could he have possibly done in a wheelchair?” Mr Lowe’s aunt, who did not provide her name, told the television station. “We want justice.”
The shooting of Mr Lowe, a Black man, comes as police violence perpetrated against Black Americans is once again at the forefront of the national consciousness due to the killing of Trye Nichols by police in Memphis and the killing of Keenan Anderson by police in Los Angeles.
Body camera footage of Mr Nichols’ death released last week sparked fresh outrage over the killing in Memphis and around the country, with Americans responding by participating in protests in multiple cities.
Now, Mr Lowe’s family and community members are calling for justice to be done in his case as well.
It is not yet clear whether there is any body camera footage of the shooting of Mr Lowe. The footage of the incident captured by the bystander that is posted to social media does not include the shooting itself, while Huntington Park officials are thus far declining to release footage captured on a nearby business’ security camera and turned over to the sheriff.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is assisting in the investigation into the shooting, but Ms Gorum told the television station that the family has heard little from the department so far.
This article was amended the day after publication. It previously referred to Huntington Park, but also inaccurately to Huntington Beach, and should have referred only to Huntington Park.