INGLEWOOD (CBSLA.com) — The mother of a 25-year-old man who was fatally shot by two Los Angeles Police Department officers spoke out on Tuesday in wake of the one-year anniversary of her son’s death.
Tritobia Ford spoke to Black Los Angeles on Free Radio 102.3 KJLH-FM’s “Front Page” show this morning about the shooting death of her son, Ezell Ford.
“I’d like to see them fired, I’d like to see District Attorney Jackie Lacey file some criminal charges,” Ford said. “If Ezell or I or you were to go and shoot somebody, self defense or whatever, they would file charges and they would let the courts handle it.”
On Aug. 11, 2014, Ford — an unarmed, mentally-ill African American man — was fatally shot by officers in South Los Angeles.
According to LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, officers Sharlton Wampler and Antonio Villegas spotted Ford on a sidewalk and approached him, but Ford walked away and appeared to be trying to conceal his hands.
When Wampler and Villegas caught up to him, one of the officers “reached for Mr. Ford, when Mr. Ford suddenly turned and grabbed the officer, forcing him to the ground,” Beck added.
“While on top of the officer, Mr. Ford grabbed the officer’s handgun and attempted to remove the gun from the officer’s holster,” Beck explained. “The officer yelled to his partner that Mr. Ford had his gun. The officer’s partner then fired two rounds, striking Mr. Ford. At about that same time, the officer on the ground, while on his back, grabbed his backup weapon, reached around Mr. Ford and fired one shot at close range, striking Mr. Ford in the back.”
An autopsy report revealed Ford was shot three times, twice fatally.
Two of his wounds, to the right flank and the right back, were fatal. Ford was also shot in his right arm, according to the report.
In June, the L.A. Police Commission found that officers had no reason to stop and question Ford, and that violation of department policy led to an altercation that ended with his death.
In response to the controversial case, Ford’s parents filed a lawsuit against the LAPD and the officers involved in the shooting.
On July 6, a federal judge ruled for Beck to answer questions in connection with the deadly incident.
Beck has said Wampler and Villegas acted appropriately in the shooting.
At 9:30 a.m., the group Black Lives Matter will hold a demonstration outside of LAPD Headquarters in honor of the one-year anniversary of Ford’s death.
A candlelight vigil is also planned for this evening.