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The Autopsy For Ezell Ford, An Unarmed Man Shot By LAPD In August, Finally Released
The report for the controversial shooting that has been the target of protests reveals that Ford was shot three times: once in the right side of his back, once in the right abdomen and once in the right arm, City News Service reports. The wound to Ford's arm was not lethal. The wound to Ford's back had muzzle imprints, which suggests that the shot was fired at close range. A small amount of marijuana was found in Ford's system.
Ford, a 25-year-old unarmed African American man with a history of mental illness, was shot on August 11 at about 8:20 p.m. when he was walking home. Two officers, Sharlton Wampler and Antonio Villegas, say they tried to stop Ford in the 200 block of West 65th Street for acting in a suspicious manner. When they approached, the officers claim that Ford became hostile, tackling one of the officers, then reached for the gun in his holster. The officer's partner responded by opening fire on Ford, and the officer he tackled shot Ford with his backup weapon. Ford was then transported to a nearby hospital where he died from his injuries.
A friend of Ford's family said she was a witness to the shooting and offered a conflicting report, saying she never saw a struggle between Ford and the officers prior to the shooting. Ford's family said he was mentally ill and harmless.
In a press conference today at 2:30 p.m., Beck said that though the autopsy was not inconsistent with the officers' statements, and the investigation is "far from over." He said it would be months before the case would reach the police commission, and that Wampler and Villegas were currently assigned to non-field duties. Beck urged any witnesses or anyone with information to contact the LAPD.
There have been numerous protests against police brutality following Ford's death, and in connection with the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson and Eric Garner in NYC. There are two planned for today: one at 3 p.m. outside the LAPD headquarters in downtown Los Angeles, and one at 4 p.m. in Leimart Park.
Los Angeles Youth Justice Coalition released a report in the wake of the Ford shooting, examining the cases of civilians who are killed by police. They note that since 2007, there were 19 cases in which the civilians were mentally ill, autistic or deaf.