Did you guys notice that every time the police needs to explain why
they killed a black person, they claimed the person fought them and
tried to take the gun from them??
LAPD Shouted 'Shoot Him' Before Killing Unarmed, Mentally Ill Black Man: Witness
LOS ANGELES -- An eyewitness to the killing of Ezell Ford
told The Huffington Post on Wednesday that he heard an officer with the
Los Angeles Police Department shout "shoot him" before three bullets
were unloaded into the unarmed, 25-year-old black man, who was on the
"It is unknown if the suspect has any gang affiliations," the LAPD said in a statement after the killing.
people in Ford's neighborhood said the young man was not remotely
involved in gang activity. Leroy Hill said he was an eyewitness to the
shooting Monday night, and confirmed that he heard three shots.
wasn't a gang banger at all," Hill said. "I was sitting across the
street when it happened. So as he was walking down the street, the
police approached him, whatever was said I couldn't hear it, but the
cops jumped out of the car and rushed him over here into this corner.
They had him in the corner and were beating him, busted him up, for what
reason I don't know he didn't do nothing. The next thing I know I hear a
'pow!' while he's on the ground. They got the knee on him. And then I
hear another 'pow!' No hesitation. And then I hear another 'pow!' Three
At one point while the police had Ford on the ground, but
before the shooting took place, Hill said, he heard an officer yell,
Hill, far left, and two other neighbors, gather in front of a memorial
for Ezell Ford on West 65th Street in South LA Wednesday morning.
around 8:20 p.m., police conducted an "investigative stop" in the 200
block of West 65th Street in the Newton area of South LA, according to an LAPD news release.
"During the stop a struggle ensued, which resulted in an
officer-involved-shooting," the release says. "The suspect was
transported to a local hospital and after lifesaving efforts he
succumbed to his injuries."
A woman who identified herself as the deceased man's mother called KTLA and identified the man as Ezell Ford.
However, as of Wednesday afternoon, the LAPD had not confirmed the
identity of the "suspect." Tritobia Ford said her son was lying on the
ground and complying with officers when he was shot three times.
The shooting comes just days after the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown was fatally shot by a police officer
in the St. Louis suburb on Saturday. He was unarmed. Dorian Johnson,
who was walking with Brown before the shooting occurred, said Brown was
retreating from the officer with his hands up when he was shot, CNN
reported. Ferguson police, however, say a "physical confrontation"
occurred before that.
Unrest has rocked the suburb in the days following Brown's death.
At least four people, including two police officers, have been hurt and
47 arrested in the aftermath of the shooting, according to St. Louis'
A sign at the memorial for Ezell Ford in South LA.
Wednesday morning in South LA, a group of about 10 young and
middle-aged men gathered at a makeshift sidewalk memorial lined with
candles and signs that read "Police brutality must stop."
at the memorial near the sight of the shooting were visibly shaken by
the events that had unfolded there Monday night. They expressed anger
toward the LAPD. They said that Ford wasn't a gang member at all -- that
he was a "good guy," a local man who was born and raised in the
neighborhood, one whom everyone knew and liked, who routinely played
basketball and who also suffered from some form of mental illness.
all of the men said Ford suffered from some mental illness, they
couldn't confirm what it was. One young neighbor, who requested to not
be identified, said that while "he wasn't all there, he was there enough
to follow orders and know to stop when the police tell him to stop. He
did nothing wrong."
Another eyewitness told KTLA that Ford's mental state was well-known in the neighborhood and to the police.
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 man said in an interview with the local network. "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."
young neighbor described the incident as "racial bullsh*t." All of the
men at the memorial told HuffPost that police routinely patrol their
neighborhood, a gesture that, they said, feels aggressive as opposed to
an act of peace-keeping. During the brief 10 minutes HuffPost was at the
scene, two squad cars were observed driving by the main intersection of
South Broadway and West 65th Street.
A sign in memory of Ezell Ford.
middle-aged neighbor took the allegations of aggressive police officers
a step further, saying that the same officers who were involved in the
incident on Monday night had come through the neighborhood the day
before and harassed Ford. He also alleged that wasn't the first time the
police had "targeted" Ford and harassed him while he walked down the
"The day before they were messing with him and they came back the next day and made good on it," the neighbor said.
No officers were injured during the incident, according to the LAPD. The Force Investigation Division is set to investigate.
reached by HuffPost, the LAPD declined to comment on the allegations
because there is an ongoing and active investigation. "When new
information becomes available, it will be released," Officer Bruce
Borihanh told HuffPost.
UPDATE: 8 p.m. -- LAPD issued a statement that describes what happened:
the officers got closer and attempted to stop the individual, the
individual turned, grabbed one of the officers, and a struggle ensued.
During the struggle, they fell to the ground and the individual
attempted to remove the officer's handgun from its holster. The partner
officer then fired his handgun and the officer on the ground fired his
backup weapon at the individual.
"After the officers fired their
handguns at the individual, they were able to handcuff him and call for a
rescue ambulance. Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics arrived and
transported the individual to the hospital where he was later pronounced