Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Mentally Challenged Male Fatally Shot By LAPD

According to BET Centric, a fourth Black man has been killed at the hands of a police officer in the last month.  According to a report by local station KTLA the victim, Ezell Ford, a 25-year-old man was fatally shot by police in South Los Angeles and only blocks away from his home Monday evening when the shooting occurred.   Ford’s family said he had “special needs” and mental “complications.”  Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Barry Montgomery described the incident as an “investigative stop.”  “During that investigative stop, a struggle ensued between the officers and the suspect, and an officer-involved shooting occurred,” Montgomery said.  Family members said Ford was complying with officers’ request to surrender when he was shot three times. He was transported to a nearby hospital where he reportedly underwent surgery. Ford was later pronounced dead from his injuries.

According to the LAPD, the shooting will be reviewed by the Office of the Inspector General and Board of Police Commissioners.  Ford’s mother Tritobia Ford said she was pushed to the ground by officers when she was trying to find out what happened to her son.  “My heart is so heavy,” she said. “My son was a good kid. He didn’t deserve to die the way he did,” she said.  Ford’s death comes in the wake of the highly publicized shooting in Ferguson, Mo., where 18-year-old Michael Brown was killed by police after a reported altercation. Brown was unarmed. The FBI launched a civil rights investigation into the case.

Two other incidents involving African-American men and law enforcement occurred over the last few weeks, including Eric Garner, 43, who died after being placed in a chokehold by a NYPD officer.
John Crawford III, 22, was shot by police inside a Wal-Mart in Ohio after waving a BB gun at customers. His family is seeking surveillance video to get more facts.  Family witnesses said Ford--whose grandmother insists was 24 and not 25--was shot in the back.  “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,” one relative said.  “The excessive force…there was no purpose for it. 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.”  The shooting is currently being reviewed by The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Justice System Integrity Division.

Sidebar: I'm sickened, saddened and angry that this keeps happening.

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