Benjamin Crump to hold press conference on Titusville officer-involved shooting

·2 min read
James Lowrey, 40, was identified as the man shot and killed in an officer-involved shooting that took place Dec. 26.
James Lowrey, 40, was identified as the man shot and killed in an officer-involved shooting that took place Dec. 26.

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Two prominent Florida civil rights lawyers are threatening a lawsuit with Titusville over public records, suggesting that the shooting of a Black man right after Christmas was a possible case of mistaken identity.

The attorneys are saying that police may have killed the wrong man when 40-year-old James Lowrey was shot during an altercation with Titusville Police Department officers.

Prominent civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump—who regularly appears on cable news networks to comment on police shootings—and Orlando attorney Natalie Jackson promised to provide more details at a press conference on Thursday.

In other news: Civil rights lawyer Benjamin Crump asks U.S. Justice to investigate killings, Brevard Sheriff's Office

And: Man shot and killed during chase, struggle with Titusville police officer

The two will appear Jan. 26 at 10:00am at the Historic Titusville Court House, located at 506 S. Palm Ave., in Titusville.

"Right now we are filing a public records lawsuit against the Titusville Police Department because they won't release body cam, the 911 tape or the redacted police report," Natalie Jackson said.

"We've sent them three inquiries and they said they won't release it."

Amy Matthews, Titusville Police Department spokeswoman, said that it is standard practice not to release information while an investigation is underway. Matthews also pointed out that it is no longer a TPD investigation and that FDLE would have to handle all records requests related to Lowrey's case.

Jackson said the attorneys have conducted their own investigation, showing that the 911 call leading up to Lowrey's death was in reference to a domestic dispute between a couple and did not actually involve Lowrey himself.

The shooting happened at about 7:20 p.m. Dec. 26 on the 1500 block of Gayle Avenue. Police were responding to a 911 call about a woman being beaten in the roadway by an unidentified man.

According to initial reports, a man took off from the scene and after a brief foot chase, the officer and the possible suspect got into a struggle in a nearby yard when the officer fired his weapon and killed the man.

Florida Department of Law Enforcement were notified in order to conduct an independent investigation. FDLE investigations into officer-involved shootings can often take months before findings are released.

Jackson said releasing the relevant records would shed light on the shooting and provide answers to Lowrey's family.

Jackson and Crump previously have represented the family of Sincere Pierce, one of two teenagers who were killed by a Brevard County Sheriff's Office deputy in November of 2020.

Prosecutors found no wrongdoing in the shooting that left 18-year-old Pierce and 15-year-old A.J. Crooms dead. Crump and Jackson subsequently filed a federal lawsuit that is making its way through the court system now.

Tyler Vazquez is the North Brevard Watchdog Reporter at FLORIDA TODAY. Contact Vazquez at 321-917-7491 or tvazquez@floridatoday.com. Twitter: @tyler_vazquez

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This article originally appeared on Florida Today: Lawyers say Titusville PD shooting a possible case of mistaken identity