LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has promised a “full investigation” into the death of a 25-year-old man fatally shot during a police encounter last week.
Ezell Ford was killed August 11 in South Los Angeles after an officer-involved shooting near his home. Ford was unarmed, and according to witnesses, was face-down.
As his family continues to protest, CBS2’s Kristine Lazar reports Garcetti on Monday attempted to assure activists investigators will look thoroughly into the case.
“My thoughts are with the Ford family who are grieving. I will ensure that there is a full investigation of this incident. I understand the passion stirred within the community and fully respect the right of the people to assemble and be heard. I ask that all Angelinos to respect each other during this time through the practice of peace,” Garcetti stated.
The mayor’s remarks came as Ford’s body was released to his family Monday.
The family’s attorney says an independent autopsy will be conducted.
The autopsy report by the Los Angeles Corner’s Office has been sealed and no details have been made public.
Hundreds gathered to protest Ford’s death at LAPD headquarters last weekend amid conflicting accounts of the events prior to the shooting.
The LAPD says that Ford tackled an officer and tried to grab his gun during a physical altercation.
Ford’s relatives say he was mentally challenged, and witnesses in the South L.A. neighborhood where he was shot tell a different story from authorities.
“He said, ‘I don’t have nothing.’ He put his hands up like that [they] wrestled him to the ground and the shot went off and then they shot him again. And another two seconds later they shot him again,” Ashanti Harrison said last week.
The LAPD and the District Attorney’s Office are investigating.
Ford’s family is expected to file a federal civil rights lawsuit later this week.