Mother calls for fed­eral probe of LAPD killing

‘This needs to go to a higher au­thor­ity,’ she says af­ter de­part­ment clears of­fi­cers in the shoot­ing of Ezell Ford.

Los Angeles Times - - LOS ANGELES - By Gar­rett Therolf CHAT & SELFIE PETER BIBRING gar­rett.therolf @la­ Twit­ter: @gth­erolf

Ezell Ford’s mother told demon­stra­tors Satur­day that she hopes the U.S. De­part­ment of Jus­tice will look into her son’s fa­tal shoot­ing be­cause she had no con­fi­dence in the re­view led by Los An­ge­les po­lice Chief Char­lie Beck and the de­part­ment’s in­de­pen­dent watch­dog.

“This needs to go to a higher au­thor­ity,” Tri­to­bia Ford said.

The re­buke came af­ter The Times re­ported that Beck and Alex Bus­ta­mante, the Los An­ge­les Po­lice De­part­ment’s in­spec­tor gen­eral, had de­ter­mined that two of­fi­cers were jus­ti­fied when they shot Ezell Ford, a men­tally ill 25-year-old black man, in South Los An­ge­les last year.

“I’m livid. I’m mad. I’m hurt,” said Ford’s mother, wear­ing a pink shirt with the words “Save Black Boys,” on Satur­day.

She spoke to about a dozen pro­test­ers gath­ered at South Broad­way and West 65th Street, near the site of the shoot­ing, and lamented that more had not gath­ered.

“I guess ev­ery­one has their own prob­lems to think about,” she said.

Ma­halia Clark, Ezell Ford’s great aunt, said she wor­ried that the find­ing by Beck and Bus­ta­mante would give a “green light” to sim­i­lar shoot­ings.

“De­ci­sions like this give the next cop rea­son to do the same thing in the fu­ture,” she said.

Pro­test­ers then marched on Broad­way, stop­ping traf­fic. Po­lice cruis­ers trailed a short dis­tance be­hind them.

Ac­cord­ing to two sources who spoke with The Times, de­part­ment in­ves­ti­ga­tors found ev­i­dence in­di­cat­ing that Ford had fought for con­trol of one of­fi­cer’s gun, bol­ster­ing claims the of­fi­cers made af­ter the Aug. 11 shoot­ing.

Ford and one of the of­fi­cers, Sharl­ton Wam­pler, had scratches on their hands, and the hol­ster for Wam­pler’s gun was scratched, the sources said. Tests also found Ford’s DNA on the weapon, they said.

The shoot­ing oc­curred af­ter Wam­pler and his part­ner saw Ford walk­ing down a street near his home. Though Bus­ta­mante found the use of force jus­ti­fied, he said it was un­clear whether the of­fi­cers were jus­ti­fied in ap­proach­ing and at­tempt­ing to de­tain Ford.

“If there was no rea­son to stop him, then there was no rea­son to shoot him,” Ford’s mother said.

The Po­lice Com­mis­sion, a civil­ian panel that over­sees the LAPD and makes the fi­nal rul­ing on uses of force, is sched­uled to dis­cuss the shoot­ing in pri­vate on Tues­day.

Ford said she would not at­tend, adding: “I don’t think I can stom­ach it.”


was shot dur­ing a strug­gle for one of­fi­cer’s gun, in­ves­ti­ga­tors said.

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