grift. verb. “engage in petty or small-scale swindling”.
There should be no controversy on this one. The facts of a case are more important than the “victim status” or any of the participants.
*General rule – If someone has a knife and they threaten to stab you or throw the knife at you – that is a deadly threat. The proportional and lawful response to that threat – is deadly force.
Anthony Lowe is a double amputee – he had both legs amputated above the knee (transfemoral amputation). Mr. Lowe uses a wheelchair – but can still move around (pretty quickly!) on his residual limbs.
Mr. Lowe’s sister (Yatoya Toy) has given several public interviews and stated that his legs were amputated “after an altercation with police in Texas” last year. Ms. Toy refused to provide any additional information or evidence to back up her claims. At the time of the article no news outlets have verified her statements.
Anthony Lowe is not the victim in this case. The only victim is a man named “Ramiro”. “Ramiro” was out looking for a job and was randomly stabbed by Mr. Lowe and suffered a punctured lung. “Ramiro” and Mr. Lowe are strangers and there was no altercation between the men before the incident.
Video surveillance from a gas station shows “Ramiro” crossing the street and Mr. Lowe quickly approaching from behind while “on foot” and not in his wheelchair. Mr. Lowe slashed a 12” butcher knife at “Ramiro” and then turned the other way and left the scene.
Initially “Ramiro” thought that he had been “punched” by Mr. Lowe and then saw blood gushing out of his armpit. A witness called 911 and applied pressure to the wound. Thankfully, “Ramiro” will survive his serious injuries.
After the Crime
The call to police described the attacker as “a man in a wheelchair”. The witness informed police dispatch that the attacker allegedly “dismounted the wheelchair, ran to the victim without provocation, and stabbed him in the side of the chest” with a “12-inch butcher knife,” before fleeing the scene in the wheelchair.
In the search for the offender (which is still the job of the police) they located the alleged suspect (Mr. Lowe) near the scene of the crime – still holding a large knife. Huntington, California police officers attempted to detain Mr. Lowe but he resisted arrest and ignored verbal commands to comply.
The police officers did have probable cause to arrest Mr. Lowe at this point for a violent felony.
The Progression of Force
In this instance officers initially utilized a Taser two separate times. This was appropriate as Mr. Lowe had committed a violent felony, was still armed with a knife, and was “running” away from officers. It is reasonable that the police would not allow Mr. Lowe to escape – as there was a legitimate interest in preventing other stabbings. However, the Taser deployments were unsuccessful and had no effect in gaining control of Mr. Lowe – who continued to flee on foot.
Analysis of the Use of Deadly Force
This one is quick.
Mr. Lowe committed a violent felony. He resisted arrest and threatened police officers with the very same weapon that he had plunged into the victim. It was reasonable that the police officers wanted to avoid being stabbed by Mr. Lowe. Tasers failed to gain the compliance of Mr. Lowe and when faced with a deadly threat – the police predictably responded with deadly force.
Mr. Lowe was missing his legs – not his arms. He could still throw the knife. Justified.
The only possible way that this case could cause an outcry, controversy, protests, or riots is if people read dishonest headlines or believe money-hungry ambulance chasing attorneys in conjunction with refusing to educate themselves on the facts of the case and/or look at the available evidence.
The video footage of this incident is publicly available and to demonize the police officers without watching is nearing a criminal level of absurdity.
It should be expected that the attorney for Mr. Lowe would lie to the media prior to the release of the videos – but typically once that narrative is objectively proved to be false – the lies die in the light.
However, the opposite has occurred. Since the release of the videos here are some comments from anti-police activists involved in this case:
-“Anthony was brutally executed by Huntington Park police officers last Thursday in an attack that was vicious and cowardly,” said Cliff Smith, an organizer with the Coalition for Community Control Over the Police.
-“It’s sad, really sad how the police are getting away with killing our African American people,” said Ellakenyada Gorum, Mr. Lowe’s cousin. “He was in a wheelchair. What more could he do?”
-“There was absolutely no reason to shoot a double amputee in the back 11 times who was hobbling away from officers,” Della Donna (an attorney representing several of Mr. Lowe’s family members) said. “Both the officers and the public were not at threat. He was a handicapped person suffering from a mental crisis.”
This is the reason that serious police leaders should ignore Dishonest Critics. – anyone who refuses to acknowledge objective reality are not worth the time and resources that would have to be expended to engage in circular, frustrating, and unproductive conversations.
Truth Wins (Usually)
Unlike in the Anthony Lowe Officer-Involved-Shooting (OIS) – there are examples of when police leaders release body camera footage quickly and that alone saves the city from riots and destruction.
One example of this is the Ma’Khia Bryant case from 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. In short, Ms. Bryant was involved in a disturbance and police were called. Upon arrival an officer immediately observed Ms. Bryant slashing a large knife at a teenage girl – who was pinned against a vehicle. The officer utilized deadly force to save the life of the victim.
Ms. Bryant was an African American 16-year-old girl and those two facts alone were all the anti-police activists needed to swarm. Over two hundred people gathered in front of city hall to protest the police shooting. This quickly became a national story and the city was bracing for riots.
Then, the body camera footage was released within forty-eight hours of the OIS. The footage clearly showed that the officer’s actions were reasonable and lawful. The video showed that the officer saved the life of a girl who was about to be stabbed with a large knife. After the release of the video – the crowd lost its steam and even the most extreme activists went home. There were no riots and this case is never mentioned as part of the list of the “parade of horribles”.
Releasing the video quickly was an example of a police/city leader making an excellent decision – and likely saved lives and property.
The attorneys who represent the “victim” of an OIS have an incentive to incite as much chaos and disorder as possible – as that provides them an advantage when negotiating and/or extorting civil lawsuit settlements from the municipality. It is arguable that this might be good lawyering – the zealous representation of a client – but the public should not take these attorneys seriously in these situations. They act as used-car salesmen trying to negotiate the best deal and will often leverage the safety and property of the public for a bigger payday.
Just because I believe that this was a lawful OIS – does not mean that this is my preferred outcome. It’s not. All loss of life is tragic. My preference would be that Mr. Lowe not go around stabbing people in the first place. That seems like a reasonable request and simply just basic human decency.
I do not care if Mr. Lowe had no legs or extra legs – the relevant fact is that he had a knife and threatened to use it.
This case is not close.
This was clearly an objectively reasonable use of deadly force by police officers.
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