On Sunday, a rally was held in South Los Angeles outside the LAPD’s 77th Division station, where about 100 protesters demanded that justice be done in the case of a mentally challenged 25-year-old who was fatally shot by police on August 11, 2014.
According to KTLA, at the time of the shooting family members said that Ezell Ford was shot in a moment of excessive police force, while he was complying with officers’ orders and lying on the ground.
The LAPD provided a much different account of the circumstances. They claim that Ford ignored police instructions, seized the officer and tried to take the handgun from the officer’s holster, resulting in a violent struggle. According to police, that’s when the officer’s partner fired his handgun, while the officer on the ground fired his backup weapon. Ford was brought to the hospital and died later of gunshot wounds.
Acting LAPD Chief Earl Paysinger called the struggle a “violent altercation.” He said that the officers were put on routine paid leave and were taking the death hard.
As the rally progressed, protesters chanted, “Hey Hey Ho Ho Killer Cops have got to Go!” The Huffington Post reported that Sandra Nunez was there with her daughter, and she said that she came to the rally because her son is a black teenager. She said that she “feels helpless” and added that “I not only fear gang members killing my son, I fear police killing my son.”
KPCC 89.3 reported that Andrew Nance, 38, of the Mid-Wilshire district, showed up to the rally because he thinks too many black men have been shot and killed by police. “I’m out here because I have an eight-year-old daughter,” Nance said. “I think she has the right to know her father throughout her life, without fear that he may be get mowed down in the streets by the people who are sworn to protect.”
Sunday night’s rally in L.A. eerily mirrored the protests taking place around the U.S. following the shooting death of Michael Brown, who was killed in Ferguson, Missouri by police.