Titusville Police Release Statement After Officer Joshua Payne Criminally Charged in Death of James Lowery
By Space Coast Daily // June 1, 2022
Officer Payne charged with manslaughter in death of James Lowery
BREVARD COUNTY • TITUSVILLE, FLORIDA – Titusville Police have released a statement following the announcement that criminal charges have been filed against police officer Joshua Payne for the death of James Lowery on December 26, 2021.
State attorney Phil Archer announced the manslaughter charge against officer Joshua Payne for the death of James Lowery, 40, in a press release on Wednesday.
Officer Payne surrendered at the Brevard County jail Wednesday morning on a $15,000 bond.
“Our department was notified that Officer Joshua Payne has been criminally charged reference the death of James Lowery on December 26, 2021. Payne was immediately placed on Unpaid Suspension pending the outcome of the Internal Affairs investigation. Payne was hired in July of 2020, and he was placed on leave immediately after the deadly force incident in December.
Now that the Criminal Investigation by an outside agency has been completed, and the State Attorney’s Office has issued a criminal charge/arrest, the Internal Affairs Investigation being conducted by the Titusville Police Department’s Professional Standards Division can be completed, and the administrative action can be taken.
As explained before, we cannot complete an officer investigation and issue any discipline when criminal charges are pending. Based upon the arrest/charges completed, Chief Lau has ordered that it now be completed without delay.
Once the Internal Affairs has been completed, all non-exempt evidence in this Internal Affairs, including body cam of the incident, will be released. We estimate the completion to be 7 days or less from today.”
Payne was one of several officers that responded to 9-11 calls of a male attacking a female in the roadway of S. Deleon Avenue. Payne observed Lowery, whose appearance was similar to that of the suspect (it was later determined Lowery was not involved) and attempted to stop him for questioning.
Lowery fled on foot refusing commands to stop and discarding a bag of narcotics. Payne utilized his taser to no effect as Lowery broke free and scaled a nearby fence. Payne then drew his firearm and while holding both weapons attempted to scale the same fence, firing a single shot that struck and killed Lowery.
The Brevard Medical Examiner ruled the manner of death a homicide.
Lowery was pronounced dead at the scene and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement conducted an investigation into the shooting, handed it over to the State Attorney’s office for review, who has now formally charged Officer Payne for Manslaughter.
Manslaughter is the killing of a human being by an act, procurement, or gross culpable negligence, without lawful justification.
This includes recklessness or lack of care when handling a dangerous weapon. The statute can also be proven if the defendant used excessive force during self-defense, or defense of another.
No trial date has been set in this case.