Florida Cop Charged With Manslaughter For The Shooting Of An Unarmed Black Man
Criminal Justice Reform News

Florida Cop Charged With Manslaughter For The Shooting Of An Unarmed Black Man

Civil rights lawyer Ben Crump stands with the family of a man shot and killed by a Titusville police officer on Friday. Image Source: Fox 35

A 40-year-old Black man was shot and eventually died a day after Christmas by Titusville police officer Joshua Payne, according to WESH 2.

On December 26, 2021, James Lowery ran away from officer Payne after officers were called to investigate a domestic battery complaint. 

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement police report states that the officer tried to stop Lowery, but he evaded capture and fled the scene, according to Revolt. 

Payne allegedly shot Lowery twice with his taser, but it did not deter the suspect. Police report documents that Lowery stopped at a house close by and allegedly threw a bag of narcotics over the fence. The report adds that the officer instructed the suspect to “get down,” but Lowery climbed over the fence to escape, Revolt reports.

The officer then pulled the trigger on both his taser and gun, hitting Lowery in the back of his head; he later succumbed to his wounds. 

The victim’s mother describes the last time she saw her son.  

“He turned 40 years old on December 2, the day before Christmas with him and I did get to see him no more after that,” Linda Johnson said to WESH 2.

Another tragic element of this situation is though Lowery matched the description of the man the police were looking for, he was not the individual that violently struck a woman on South Deleon Avenue. 

“James Lowery wasn’t even the person 911 was called on,” civil rights attorney Ben Crump said, who Lowery’s family retained. “They shot the wrong Black man.”

Following an 29-year-old Joshua Payne, of Winter Park, was arrested for manslaughter.

He turned himself into the Brevard County Jail two days ago and now is out of jail on bond.

“A shot to the back of the head, that is unjustified, you can’t justify shooting a man in the back of the head as he is running away from you,” Crump said.

The state attorney will meet with the victim’s family.

“I remember one of the things that was put out in the media was that there was a struggle with the police officer and Mr. Lowery,” attorney Natalie Jackson said.

“A lie,” Crump said.

“That has been proven false,” Jackson confirmed.

A judge has not assigned a trial date for Payne.


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