By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
The family of a double amputee shot and killed by police officers on Jan. 26 has taken the necessary preliminary steps to file a lawsuit against a Southern California city.
NBC News reported that the lawyer for Anthony Lowe’s family, Christian Contreras, has asked the city to show all surveillance footage of the incident and name the police officers involved.
Contreras called the incident a “straight murder.”
“A disabled man, double amputee, murdered by the police department officers, and we’re here making demands. We’re not making requests. We’re making demands,” Contreras said at a news conference on Feb. 2.
Viral video of the incident has angered many on social media, particularly given the January murder of Tyre Nichols at the hands of five police officers in Tennessee.
Police claimed Lowe, a Black man who lost his legs in 2022 and was without prosthetics, stabbed a 46-year-old man before they stunned Lowe and shot him to death.
Social media posts show grainy footage from a cellphone that shows Lowe, whose legs were amputated at the knees, fleeing his wheelchair and climbing along the pavement while being pursued by officers with their guns drawn.
In an interview, Ebonique Simon, mother of Lowe’s 15-year-old son, argued that her son’s father did not constitute a substantial threat and police should not have fired any shots.
“I just feel like they could have done something else,” Simon argued.
“You can tell he was in fear for his life. He had no legs. It could have been handled any other way.”
She said their son has struggled with Lowe’s death.
“My son broke down yesterday, asking God can he just get one more time, one more time, with his dad,” she said.
Contreras says that he first filed a notice of claim, a necessary step in the legal process, before he could sue Huntington Park, a city with 53,000 people not far from downtown Los Angeles.
Officers in Huntington Park’s 1900 block of Slauson Avenue claimed they saw a man with a butcher knife about a foot long.
A police report said that the man ignored verbal orders and threatened to move forward or throw the knife at officers.
“Officers deployed two separate tasers in an attempt to subdue the suspect, but the tasers were ineffective,” authorities wrote.
“The suspect continued to threaten officers with the butcher knife, resulting in an officer-involved shooting.”