Epidemic?: LAPD Shoot and Kill Unarmed Black Man While ‘He Lay Face Down on the Ground’
While the Michael Brown case continues to unfold, a Los Angeles family is crying foul after police shot a 24-year-old unarmed black man.
Tritobia Ford, who says she is the mother of the alleged victim, Ezell Ford, says that her son was lying on the ground and complying with police commands. Rather than arrest him, she says the police officer shot him three times in the back.
On Monday night, an officer-involved shooting was reported in South Los Angeles.
Officers on the scene “conducted an investigative stop” and “during the stop a struggle ensued” and an officer opened fire, according to an LAPD news release.
Police say 24-year-old Ezell Ford was rushed to a hospital and underwent surgery but did not survive his injuries.
The officers involved in the struggle reportedly suffered some minor scrapes.
Ford says the officers refused to tell her where her son was hospitalized.
A man who says he is the victim’s cousin and witnessed the incident told KTLA, “They laid him out and for whatever reason, they shot him in the back, knowing mentally, he has complications. Every officer in this area, from the Newton Division, knows that – that this child has mental problems.”
“The excessive force… there was no purpose for it,” he told the station. “The multiple shootings in the back while he’s laying down? No. Then when the mom comes, they don’t try to console her… they pull the billy clubs out.”
Earl Ofari Hutchinson, the president of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable, released a statement saying, “The killing of Ezell Ford – coming on the heels of the Michael Brown killing in Ferguson, Missouri – again raises the issue and problem of tense police-community relations. This is the sole reason we have called for a meeting (with LAPD Chief Charlie Beck)… to get all the facts in the shooting and for assurances that the shooting will be subject to the most rigorous review to determine if there was any wrongdoing in Ford’s death.”