On Saturday Democratic representative Maxine Waters, speaking at the funeral services for 25-year-old Ezell Ford who was fatally shot by LAPD officers on August 11, said that “Ford did not deserve to die simply because he was mentally challenged.”
Waters made the statement amid applause by the congregation and added, “They will say you must be peaceful, you must be quiet. Well I am here to say there is anger. There is frustration. There is the feeling that, somehow, this is not fair.”
Given that the gathering of evidence and finding witnesses to the shooting has not yet been completed, Waters comments were irresponsible. The congresswoman dismisses police officers Sharlton Wampler and Antonio Villegas’s account of the incident as a violent altercation in which Ford tried to take one of the officer’s gun from his holster, prompting both officers at the scene to fire their weapons in self defense.
Waters remarks assume that the Ford’s family rendition of events were true. Family members have said that the mentally ill Ezell was obeying police orders when they shot him in the back lying passively on the ground. Ford’s cousin Maurice Bull said at the funeral, “This is the breaking point…it’s got to stop.”
Former California Democrat congresswoman Diane Watson who once attacked former University of California Regent Ward Connerly for marrying a white woman also spoke at the funeral saying “it was time for a national conversation.”
Notably, many details of the incident strangely mirror the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed African American in Ferguson Missouri, that has sparked weeks of protests in the St. Louis suburb and has captured the attention of the entire nation. So far the demonstrations in Los Angeles have been peaceful, and there has been no crime or looting in connection with them.
KTLA reported that the service began around 11 a.m. at First A.M.E. Church and was officiated by the Rev. Eduardo Vickers.