Below is the full video that the Titusville Police released this morning in reference the the officer involved shooting death of James Lowery. Titusville Police will hold a press conference later today.
James Lowery, 40, was fatally shot in December by Officer Joshua Payne, one of several officers who responded to a 911 call reporting that a man was attacking a woman along South Deleon Avenue, police said.
“(When we got involved with this case) it was clear to us that a shot to the back of the head, nothing else needs to be said,” Crump said during a news conference earlier this month. “That is unjustified. That is unjustified. You can’t justify shooting a man in the back of the head as he’s running away from you. You’re no threat, running away from an officer.”
Payne claimed Lowery looked similar to the suspect — though it was later determined Lowery was not even involved — and the officer attempted to question him, according to the Brevard-Seminole State Attorney’s Office. When Lowery ran away, Payne tried to stop him by using his Taser, but it was ineffective, the state attorney said.
“It took almost six months for them to finally bring charges against this officer,” said nationally recognized civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who led a news conference in front of the courthouse.
“This … may be one of the first times that a police officer has been charged for killing a Black person in Brevard County, so we acknowledge that as an important step toward getting justice for James Lowery.”
The ex-officer has an Arraignment court date currently set for July 7th, at 8am at the Harry T. Moore Justice Center, with Judge Judith Atkin
Titusville Police Press Release Below
The Administrative Investigation into the officer involved shooting has been completed by the Titusville Police Department.
On December 26th 2021, numerous officers responded to a violent domestic call at nighttime in which a suspect was at large on foot in the area. A description of the suspect was broadcast to include the suspects name.
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Two possible suspects were stopped by officers and quickly released after they provided their identity.
Officer Joshua Payne encountered a 3rd suspect matching the description and lawfully ordered him to stop. The suspect fled on foot for several blocks. Officer Payne tried numerous times to apprehend the suspect using his taser. When the suspect reached into his pants and appeared to be removing an item, Officer Payne drew his firearm. At that point, the suspect grabbed at the officer briefly, and then jumped over a fence. As the officer, holding his firearm in one hand and his taser in the other hand, started to go over the fence, his firearm discharged one round. That round struck the suspect in the head and he died at the scene.
James Lowery, 40, of Titusville was later identified at the scene as the person shot by the officer. While he matched the description of the suspect in the domestic violence call, it was determined that he was not involved in that incident. Investigators believe Lowery may have chosen to flee and resist the officer because of the illegal drugs on his person.
Once the criminal investigation was concluded by the FDLE and an arrest was made on the officer involved, our Internal Affairs component was able to complete the administrative part of this investigation.
On the day of his arrest, June 1st, Officer Joshua Payne resigned his position as a police officer- he is no longer an employee of the department.
The Administrative Investigation revealed that Officer Payne found himself in a tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving situation -in which he violated department policy and acted outside department training.
Specifically, Ofc. Payne continued to hold a taser in one hand (less lethal response to resistance), after switching to his handgun (lethal force). At no time does our training allow a gun in one hand and a taser in the other.
Investigators believe that Ofc. Payne accidentally fired his firearm as he encountered the fence. Nothing in the investigation revealed any justification for the use of deadly force, nor did it appear the officer intended to use deadly force.
“We extend our thoughts to the family and friends of James Lowery”, said Chief John Lau. “We are devastated at this tragic incident”, added Lau.