April V. Taylor
The Huffington Post is reporting that yet another black man has died at the hands of police officers; this time it involves the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) killing a black man during what is being referred to as an ‘investigative stop.’ While police have not officially identified the victim, his mother called local news station KTLA and identified him as 25-year-old Ezell Ford.
Officers report that the incident occured in the Florence neighborhood of South Los Angeles around 8:20 pm Tuesday. A news release from the LAPD states that, “During the stop a struggle ensued, which resulted in an officer-involved-shooting. It is unknown if the suspect has any gang affiliations. The suspect was transported to a local hospital and after lifesaving efforts he succumbed to his injuries.”
While the news release does not provide much information other than to allege that the victim may have had gang affiliations, the account given by the man’s family paints a very different portrait. Ford’s mother, Tritobia Ford stated to KTLA that her son was lying on the ground in compliance with officers’ requests at which point he was fatally shot three times.
Ford’s cousin states, “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. 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.”
Tritobia Ford also reports that officers refused to provide her with information about what hospital her son was taken to following the incident. LAPD is denying that any information was withheld. Initial eyewitness reports indicate that Ford’s shooting death at the hands of officers is similar to the killing of Michael Brown in that they both were surrendering and complying when fatal shots were fired at them.