HUNTINGTON PARK, Calif. (KABC) -- Attorneys representing the family of Anthony Lowe, a disabled man shot and killed by Huntington Park Police officers last week, have filed the paperwork that they say will lead to a multimillion dollar lawsuit against the city.
Lowe, 36, was shot and killed Jan. 26 after officers say he stabbed one man and threatened officers with a 12-inch butcher knife. His family says there was no reason to shoot Lowe because he was missing his legs from the knees down and was initially in a wheelchair.
"Let's call it what it is, it's a straight murder," said attorney Christian Contreras, who represents Lowe's teenage son. "A disabled man, double amputee, murdered by Huntington Park Police Department officers."
Lowe's family members point to a bystander video captured moments before he was shot to prove he was not a threat.
"You could tell he was in fear for his life," said Ebonique Simon, the mother of Lowe's son. "He had no legs. It could have been handled any other way."
Simon says Lowe had recently lost both his legs in an accident in Texas and he was suffering from depression.
The Huntington Park Police Department has declined to be interviewed about the incident, instead releasing a written explanation for the shooting.
The department says Lowe had stabbed a man, critically injuring him, and that when officers confronted Lowe, he refused to surrender the butcher knife and instead threatened them with it. The statement says officers then tased Lowe twice with no effect and when the 36-year-old attempted to throw the knife at an officer, they opened fire.
Lowe was pronounced dead at the scene.
The department also announced late Thursday it plans to hold a press conference Monday to present audio and video evidence of the "brutal stabbing" that Lowe was allegedly involved in prior to being shot by officers.
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"Is it really a question that a double amputee, who's hobbling on his legs, away from the officers, not near a single person, is a real threat to someone?" asked Austin Love, another attorney representing Lowe's family.
Cellphone video of the moments leading up to the shooting have been posted online, and investigators say surveillance video from a local business captures the deadly encounter. It is in the possession of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which is heading up the investigation into the officer-involved shooting, but Lowe's family and their attorneys say they have not been allowed to see that video.
"Why is it that the authorities have the video?" Contreras asked at Wednesday's news conference outside the Huntington Park police station. "Why is it that the authorities can review everything and why is it that they only have access to all the evidence in this case when the family, the most important people in this case, have not seen it?"
The attorneys said they filed a claim against the city of Huntington Park Wednesday morning, but they did not say what they would be seeking.
The officers involved in the shooting have been place on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the Sheriff's Department investigation.