US police brutality is under the spotlight again as footage circulating throughout social media has shown US officers fatally shoot a Black double amputee and wheelchair user, who was fleeing away on the ground before he was killed.
According to media reports, Los Angeles Police reportedly said they received a call on Thursday that a man has been stabbed by another man in a wheelchair. Officers claimed that during their search, they allegedly found 36-year-old Anthony Lowe a few blocks away with a 12-inch butcher knife.
Police claimed Lowe continued to threaten officers with the knife, prompting the fatal shooting. However, the video taken by a passerby shows Lowe out of his wheelchair, trying to get away from police using his arms to propel himself along the ground on his amputated limbs when he was shot dead.
Lowe was struck by gunfire in the upper torso and was pronounced dead on scene, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department said in an initial statement.
In a video, two uniformed officers are seen pointing their guns at Lowe. Lowe then appears to move himself in the opposite direction, while an officer walks behind him. A police car then obscures the view.
Lowe’s family said he couldn’t have been a threat because he had been in a wheelchair, and they needed more answers from law enforcement.
His cousin, Ellakenyada Gorum, said, “It’s sad how these police are getting away with 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?”
It remains unclear if there’s any bodycam or dashcam video of the shooting, but a nearby business has given authorities security footage of the shooting, CBS LA reported. Meanwhile, the police officers involved were placed on paid administrative leave per protocol, according to the Huntington police.
The shooting also spurred outrage among activists, who protested the ongoing excessive use of force by police in Southern California.
Activists and the family of Lowe took to the Huntington Park Police Department headquarters on Monday to condemn the killing.
“They murdered my son in a wheelchair — with no legs,” The Time reported Lowe’s mother, Dorothy as saying.
On average, police in the United States shoot and kill more than 1,000 people every year, according to an ongoing analysis by The Washington Post last updated on January 23.
Calls have been growing for US police reform after the brutal killing of George Floyd, an African-American man who died after former policeman Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 2020.
Since his death, the House of Representatives has twice passed the George Floyd Justice in Policing bill, but Senate Republicans have opposed the legislation.
Floyd’s murder by the police led to national outrage about the deaths of unarmed Black Americans at the hands of US law enforcement, triggering nationwide and worldwide protests.