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Criminal Justice

Video Shows Huntington Park Officers Fatally Shooting Man Who Had Both Legs Amputated. Police Chief Rebuffs Questions About It

A diverse group of people in a crowd hold various protest signs including ones that read "End police brutality" and "Black children, futures, citizens, women, trans, LGBTQ+ rights, humans, arts, lives Matter" In the background there's a sign that reads "Huntington Police Department"
Family, friends and community members protest Lowe's killing outside the Huntington Park civic center and police department on Feb. 5.
(Brian Feinzimer
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The Huntington Park Police Department released surveillance video Monday that shows the moment officers fatally shot Anthony Lowe, a man who had both legs amputated and was out of his wheelchair when officers opened fire.

The Jan. 26 incident has sparked protests and raised serious questions about the officers' use of force. Police were responding to a report that Lowe allegedly stabbed a man and initially said they shot Lowe when he attempted to throw a knife at them.

“I emphasize that by releasing this video and other recordings, it is with the goal of advancing full disclosure and transparency of the events that transpired from beginning to end,” Huntington Park Police Chief Cosme Lozano said Monday.

Lozano said he would not answer questions from the media nor attempt to analyze any of the video or 911 audio that was being released. He said his department is cooperating with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which is handling the investigation.

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What The Video Shows

Huntington Park Police do not wear body cameras, so the video of the shooting is surveillance footage from a nearby medical center. (Warning: the video contains graphic content.)

The video, which does not have any audio, shows Lowe in his wheelchair going down a sidewalk when officers approach him. He continues to roll away, then an officer grabs the chair from behind and flips it, causing Lowe to fall to the ground.

Lowe grabs his wheelchair and puts it in front of him as he faces the two police officers. He then turns away from them and leaves his wheelchair, hobbling down the sidewalk on his legs, which are amputated at about the knees. Lowe is holding what appears to be a knife in one hand.

Police say Lowe was holding a 12-inch butcher knife and “threatened to advance or throw the knife at the officers.”

In the video, three officers follow Lowe for about 30 seconds at a distance of roughly six feet. Lowe then turns toward the officers and briefly raises the knife before they open fire, shooting him multiple times.

Timothy Williams, a retired LAPD detective and use-of-force expert, said the video shows police had time to use less-lethal methods, considering how slowly Lowe was moving.

“The lethal force, in my opinion, was unnecessary with the time that the officers had on their hands,” he said.

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The Huntington Park Police also released video from a gas station of an incident recorded several minutes before the encounter with Lowe that they said showed him stabbing a man. They also released 911 calls from the stabbing victim.

Police said the man had a collapsed lung and internal bleeding. He remained hospitalized as of Saturday, according to the Sheriff's Department.

Lozano said the officers who shot Lowe are on administrative leave while the incident is under investigation. After the Sheriff’s Department concludes its investigation, the L.A. County District Attorney’s office will review the findings to determine whether any of the officers should face criminal charges.

Lowe's Family Plans To Sue

Family members said through an attorney that Lowe’s mother, Dorothy Lowe, called 911 on the morning of the shooting to report that he was having a mental health crisis.

“And they turned to Dorothy and said, ‘Of course, he's having a hard time. He lost his legs,’” the attorney, Annee Della Donna, said. “And then they told her, let him out, let him get some air, and she did. And then these officers shot him in the back 11 times when there were multiple less lethal methods that they had in their vehicles that they could have.”

The 911 tapes released by the Huntington Park Police did not include a call from Dorothy Lowe. LAist is seeking the release of any additional tapes.

Sheriff's Department spokesperson Lt. Hugo Reynaga said Lowe’s family called the LAPD's 77th St. Division on Jan. 12 because he was acting "unusual.” He said the family told investigators that LAPD officers did not write a report, which investigators are trying to verify.

Reynaga said investigators had no information on the family calling the police on Jan. 26, the day of the shooting.

Outside Huntington Park City Hall Monday, Della Donna said Lowe's mother and daughter will be filing a claim against the city.

A separate claim against the city was filed last week on behalf of Lowe’s son. A claim is a precursor to a lawsuit.

“We have a criminal justice system. We have courts. That is where he should have been tried,” Della Donna said. “The police of Huntington Park are not the judge, jury and executioner of our mentally ill people of L.A.”

Anthony Lowe's family described him as a loving brother, father and son who struggled mentally after losing his legs five months ago.

“All he wanted to do is to be alone and keep to himself, shelter himself,” said Dorothy Lowe. “As a mother, a human being, I wouldn't wish this feeling for no mother to bear to see this video and get no answers from the justice system.

“It's hard going to sleep at night knowing my son is not coming through the door again.”

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Updated February 6, 2023 at 5:41 PM PST
This story was updated to include comments from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
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