Only two days after Michael Brown was killed by a police officer in Ferguson, another black man was fatally shot in Los Angeles by police officers. Still more than four months after the August 11 shooting occurred, the autopsy report has not been released.
However, according to the Los Angeles Times, that report will be revealed this week.
So far several Los Angeles demonstrations regarding the incident have been peaceful. But, if the autopsy report reveals that the police acted excessively the tone could change.
Saturday Breitbart News reported that demonstrations for “Black Lives Matter” were held in the Fairfax district. There the Times reported that “Justice for Ezell Ford” supporters were present.
According to the police, Ezell Ford was fired on by the two officers at the scene because the 25-year-old tried to wrestle one of the officers weapons from his holster. Veteran Officers Sharlton Wampler and Antonio Villegas said that Ford ignored police instructions and tried to tackle one of them and grab his gun.
Yet, a friend of the Ford family told a different story. She claims to have witnessed the incident and did not see Ford go for the gun and struggle with the officers. Family members say that Ford suffered from mental disorders including schizophrenia.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson, president of the Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable, has actively campaigned for the release of the autopsy report since August. He contends that that the police need to “have their feet held to the fire,” and make sure that they know that citizens are watching them.
“We’re asking for two things,” Hutchinson said on Sunday while standing nearby a mural of Ford painted on the wall of a mini-mart. “We want to make sure that this is an autopsy report without opinion, and if the report shows a discrepancy in how officers explain Ford was killed, then it has to be turned over to L.A. County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey for possible prosecution of these officers.”
The LAPD told the Times that investigations which involve police officer shootings can take up to eight months and that it is not uncommon to withhold pertinent information from the public to avoid tainting ongoing investigations.