LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Members of Ezell Ford Jr.’s family, who are suing the Los Angeles Police Department after the unarmed man was shot and killed by officers last summer, say they have been subject to intimidation from members of the agency in recent months.
CBS2’s Cristy Fajardo spoke Tuesday with the family’s attorney, who provided new video of a Sept. 26 incident in which approximately six police officers entered the Fords’ South Los Angeles home for what is believed to have been a parole or probation check.
The attorney, Steven Lerman, accused the LAPD of harassing and intimidating the family, and sending a message to potential witnesses.
“Who would want to be a witness in this shooting case when you know the goon squad is coming to search your entire house, and maybe find something that wasn’t there,” Lerman asked.
The video stops and starts at different points. Lerman said it shows Ford’s brother in handcuffs after being stopped for a traffic violation. But Lerman said the Ford sibling was never asked for his license, registration or insurance information.
“So the ruse of the traffic stop goes right out the window,” Lerman said.
After police searched the house, Ford’s brother was released, said Lerman, who alleges that proves police had an ulterior motive. He said officers have also targeted other Ford family members.
“If it’s not direct, it’s indirect,” Lerman said. “Driving by, winking. In fact, Mrs. Ford said that the cops have driven by her house on numerous occasions, and smiled, and waved. Mocking her.”
Lerman said he has no video of the other incidents, and legally police can enter the homes of parolees without a warrant.
The LAPD confirmed it has received the complaint and the video, and is investigating. Police Chief Charlie Beck said he is sympathetic to the family, but added that they are “not immune from the laws of the state of California.”
Beck said he could not go into further detail about the allegations because they are part of “an ongoing personnel complaint,” and Mayor Eric Garcetti said he was unaware of the issue, and is also unable to speak about it.
The FBI confirmed it has also received the video and spoken to Lerman but has not opened a case.