L.A. police commission says officer violated policy in shooting

Reuters News
|
Posted: Jun 09, 2015 4:20 PM

By Katherine Davis-Young

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Los Angeles police commissioners on Tuesday issued a mixed ruling in the shooting of unarmed black man by two patrolmen, largely approving of one officer's actions while finding that the other had violated department policy.

The decision followed a tense administrative hearing into the shooting death of 25-year-old Ezell Ford last Aug. 11. The five commissioners briefly walked out of the hearing after activists began chanting and holding signs.

One man was arrested in a hallway outside the meeting room for interfering with a police officer, said Commander Andrew Smith, a Los Angeles Police Department spokesman.

Los Angeles police officials have said two officers shot Ford, who has been described by a family lawyer as mentally challenged, after he struggled with one of them and tried to grab the officer's holstered gun.

Ford's death came days after the fatal shooting of black teenager Michael Brown by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, and touched off demonstrations outside police headquarters in Los Angeles.

Ford's family has filed two lawsuits over the incident, which came during a time of heightened national scrutiny of police use of force against minorities and the mentality ill.

During emotional remarks at the meeting, Ford's mother, Tritobia Ford, asked the commission to find against the officers in the administrative proceeding.

"I'm asking you, I'm begging you, please. My son would never grab a gun, he wanted to live. That's all he wanted.

He didn't deserve to die for it," she said.

(Reporting by Katherine Davis-Young; Writing by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Peter Cooney and Sandra Maler)