Attorney Ben Crump, family of man fatally shot by Titusville police officer hold news conference

TITUSVILLE, Fla. – Civil rights lawyer Ben Crump and the family of a man who was shot and killed by a Titusville police officer will hold a news conference Friday, days after the officer was arrested.

James Lowery, 40, was fatally shot in December by Officer Joshua Payne, one of multiple officers who responded to a 911 call reporting a man was attacking a woman along South Deleon Avenue, police said.

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The Brevard-Seminole State Attorney’s Office this week announced a manslaughter charge against Payne. He turned himself in to authorities on Wednesday.

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Crump released the following statement after the announcement.

According to the state attorney’s office, 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. When Lowery ran away, Payne tried to stop him by using his Taser, but it was ineffective, the state attorney said.

Lowery climbed a fence and Payne pulled his gun out, a release said. Payne tried to climb the fence while holding his gun and Taser, firing his gun and Taser simultaneously and shooting Lowery in the back of the head, a report said.

[RELATED: ‘Shot fired! Looks like it might be a headshot:’ Titusville police identify man killed in officer shooting]

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News 6 checked Titusville Police Department’s policy on firearms and didn’t see any explicit language that specifically says whether officers can deploy both weapons simultaneously.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigated the shooting and turned over its evidence to the state attorney’s office on May 6.

After reviewing the evidence, the state attorney decided to pursue a manslaughter charge against the officer.

Lowery’s family and Crump will hold a news conference on Friday at 4 pm News 6 will stream it live at the top of this story.

No trial date has been set.

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