Protesters Of Ezell Ford Shooting Camp Outside Mayor Garcetti's Home
A group of protesters have been demonstrating in front of Mayor Eric Garcetti's home in Hancock Park since Sunday, asking for the mayor to take action in the LAPD shooting of unarmed, mentally ill man, Ezell Ford.
Demonstrators in the protest, which was organized by Black Lives Matter Los Angeles, camped overnight in front of Garcetti's home, and plan on staying there until Tuesday, the L.A. Times reports. Tuesday is when the Police Commission is expected to make a ruling about the two police officers who shot 25-year-old Ezell Ford in South L.A. last August. While police on the scene argued that they shot Ford because he was resisting arrest and reached for an officer's handgun, Ezell Ford's mother, Tritobia Ford, has argued that her son was complying to the cops' demands.
The protesters are seeking justice in Ezell Ford's death, asking for Garcetti to fire LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and to hold a public forum to discuss the fatal shooting. This demonstration comes on the heels of an L.A. Times report on Friday that said sources close the investigation have said that Beck and the LAPD's independent watchdog have found that the shooting of Ezell Ford was justified because they believe Ford struggled with the officer to gain control of the gun. However, the sources said that LAPD Inspector General Alex Bustamante said was unclear whether the two officers were justified in approaching Ezell Ford the night of the shooting. While the officers said they thought Ford was trying to dispose of narcotics, it's never been revealed by authorities if narcotics were found at the scene that night. The Police Commission would still need to review their recommendations before making a final ruling on Tuesday.
While about a dozen protesters stood outside of Garcetti's house, holding signs and pictures of Ford, Tritobia Ford also joined in on the protest, according to ABC 7. The protesters have been hoping for Garcetti to come out of his house but his team says he won't be making any statement until Tuesday. Tritobia Ford said one of Garcetti's spokesman came outside to talk to her, took down her number and said they would set something up with her to talk about it. "But why did it take this?" Tritobia Ford asked ABC 7. "Why did I have to come here? Why did I have to be the one to come here?"
Garcetti released a statement on Monday, saying that he tried to call Tritobia Ford to talk to her, but was unable to reach her, so he left a message. According to ABC 7, his statement read:
I look forward to meeting with her in the coming days. Trust and transparency are the foundation of the relationship between the Los Angeles Police Department and people it serves. I have confidence that the Police Commission will conduct an impartial and fair-minded review of the investigations conducted by both the LAPD and the independent Inspector General.
Protesters told the Times that if Garcetti doesn't take any action, he would lose their support and votes.