SOUTH LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Police confirmed Thursday that a patrol car was missing key equipment that could have helped in the investigation of an unarmed mentally disabled man shot and killed by two officers.
According to the Los Angeles Police Department, the car involved in the case did not have a camera mounted on the dashboard and the two officers were not wearing experimental cameras on the lapels of their jackets.
KCAL9’s Dave Lopez spoke with family members as they gathered along 65th Street near Broadway to record a rap song in memory of Ezell Ford.
His younger brother described the 25-year-old as someone who loved to play basketball, walk around the neighborhood and bum cigarettes from people.
“I don’t know what they say; I just know that my brother didn’t deserve to get killed,” said Lattrell Ford.
Ford’s neighbor, Ashanti Harris, watched from his second-floor bathroom window as Ford was shot by police officers just after 8 p.m. Monday.
“They had their guns drawn; they slammed him on the ground,” said Harris. “They were both on top of him, and then a shot went off.”
Police said that Ford became aggressive, knocked down an officer and reached for his gun while being questioned.
A second officer then jumped out of his car and shot Ford. The officer on the ground also fired at him once, police said.
When Lopez asked officers if it was possible that Ford was shot in the back, they responded saying: “It was a severe struggle.”
The results of his autopsy will clarify where Ford was injured, officials said.
Police also confirmed that Ford had a criminal record but did not release further details into his history.
Court records, however, show Ford had a felony weapons conviction, two drug-possession convictions and a trespassing conviction in Long Beach.
“That had nothing to do with what happened that day,” said Harris. “Regardless of police record.”
On Wednesday, community activists called for a meeting with LAPD Chief Charlie Beck to launch an investigation into the shooting death.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson of the Los Angeles Urban Roundtable is expected to speak with officers Thursday evening.