US police have now killed a disabled Black man
As the fallout from the police killing of Tyre Nichols continues, it’s emerged that officers in Los Angeles, US, have killed a disabled Black man. Cops shot Anthony Lowe while he was out of his wheelchair and moving away from them. He was a double amputee due to another incident with police in Texas.
Anthony Lowe: killed by police
Police killed Anthony on Thursday 26 January. According to the Guardian:
The circumstances preceding the killing are unclear, and officials have faced scrutiny as their narrative has appeared to shift. The Huntington Park police department said in a statement that officers were responding to reports of a stabbing allegedly committed by someone in a wheelchair at around 3.40pm on Thursday, and that they encountered Lowe, who was in a wheelchair and who they believed was the suspect.
Video footage clearly shows Anthony trying to get away from the cops. Yet according to the police, officers still shot at him 10-11 times – allegedly because their tasers didn’t work and he gestured like he was going to “throw the knife” at them.
After police shot Anthony, paramedics treated him but pronounced him dead at the scene. Now, people are asking questions about the cops’ actions.
‘He was running away’
The mother of Anthony’s son, Ebonique Simon, told the Guardian:
He was running away from them as if he was scared for his life… This could have been handled in any other way. But they chose gunfire as the resolution to the problem. That is insane … The police are supposed to be upholding the law, and we’re supposed to trust them with our lives, but how can we, if they do something like this?
On Twitter, people shared a similar sentiment. Criminal lawyer Olayemi Olurin said:
As someone who is acutely aware of the fact that police kill someone everyday in this country, not much stuns me, but the killing of Anthony Lowe Jr. has truly floored me. This is a truly evil institution. He was a double amputee, he was trying to get away from them. Just why
— Olayemi Olurin (@msolurin) February 1, 2023
There are further questions over the conduct of the police, too. As Andraéa LaVant tweeted, both Anthony and Tyre were disabled men – Tyre was living with Crohn’s disease:
Tyre Nichols and Anthony Lowe Jr. are devastating proof that disabled black futures are being denied every single day.#RestInPower #BlackLivesMatter#BlackLivesStillMatter #BlackDisabledLivesMatter #JusticeForTyreNichols #JusticeForAnthonyLoweJr pic.twitter.com/Yzt1BCriZf
— andraealavant (@andraealavant) February 1, 2023
Yet so far, authorities have done little about the cops who killed Anthony. The Guardian reported that:
the officers who fired at Lowe were on leave “for a few days”, would undergo a psychological evaluation and would be assigned to administrative duties until they were approved to return to fieldwork.
White supremacy: killing Black people
The police killing of Anthony is barely different to Tyre’s – and to every other Black person cops have murdered. Lawyer Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu tweeted:
White Supremacy is:
-Police killing double amputee Black man with GUNS claiming FEAR of 1 knife
-NOT to disarm Anthony Lowe Jr but to stroll/take aim/shoot him EIGHT times as he tries to limp away in fear on stumps
Policing is rooted in White Supremacy. #BlackHistoryMonth https://t.co/N7piEHXYjS
— Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu (@SholaMos1) February 1, 2023
As Caleb Okereke wrote for Al Jazeera:
The white supremacist roots of American policing is well known – the first police forces in the US were “slave patrols” formed to surveil Black people and contain Black resistance. Abolition of slavery did little to change the core purpose of policing in the country, as all expressions of Black freedom were criminalised, and domestic security forces – first white vigilante groups and then formal law enforcement agencies – were designed not to ensure law and order for all Americans, but to protect white communities from Black people.
Nothing has changed. US policing is an agent of white supremacy – and Anthony and Tyre are its latest victims.
Featured image via YouTube/ Fox 11 Los Angeles
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