LAPD officers shoot, kill unarmed mentally ill man
An eyewitness to the death of Ezell Ford has claimed an officer with the LAPD shouted ‘shoot him’ just before the mentally ill unarmed 25-year-old was fatally shot on Monday.
The Huffington Post claims witness, Leroy Hill, saw an officer with the LAPD shoot Ford three times while he was on the ground and that he saw the entire incident unfold in front of him.
Hill denied that Ford had any association with Los Angeles gangs and claimed that officers ambushed him as he walked down the street.
‘He wasn’t a gang banger at all,’ said Hill said to HuffPost.
‘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 times.’
Ezell Ford, 25, was allegedly shot dead by officers in the Florence neighbourhood in South Los Angeles on Monday evening.
His family say Mr Ford was complying with police orders and was lying down when he was fatally shot at the intersection of West 65th Street and South Broadway at 8.12pm.
According to Lietenant Ellis Imaizumi of the Los Angeles Police Department, officers were carrying out an ‘investigative stop’ during which a ‘struggle ensued’ and police opened fire.
Mr Ford was taken to hospital but later died of his injuries.
According to police, no officers were injured.
Speaking to KTLA, Ezell Ford said her son was shot three times while he was lying on the ground and following the officers’ orders.
She also said they refused to tell her which hospital her son had been taken too but this has been denied by LAPD.
Another relative said Mr Ford had mental health problems. He said: ‘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.
A Facebook page calling for justice for Ezell Ford has now been set up and a rally has been organised for Sunday at 3pm at LAPD headquarters.
The shooting came two days after Michael Brown, an unarmed black 18-year-old, was killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri.