California continues to simmer with protests decrying excessive police force across the state.
Saturday hundreds of protesters marched on the streets of South Los Angeles calling for an end to police abuse and black-on-black violence. Meanwhile, in the northern part of the state protesters spent five hour demonstrating in front of an Emeryville Home Depot demanding answers for the fatal shooting of a black man by police.
The march in L.A. was inspired by the death of Ezell Ford, a twenty-five-year old mentally challenged black man, who was killed in a tussle with police officers on August 11, two days after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO. Ford’s family contends that Ford complied with the police during the incident, while officers assert Ford tried to pull the gun out of the holster of one of the officers. Autopsy results released in December show that the officers shot Ford in very close range consistent with their report. The case remains under investigation.
The Los Angeles Times reported that, when Ezell’s mother Tritobia Ford showed up at the rally with other family members, they were greeted by a shout from the crowd, “Let’s show them some love!” She remarked, “I do not believe that God allowed my son to be taken for nothing.”
In Emeryville, crowds stood outside of the Home Depot for five hours as a symbol for how long Thomas McClain lay on the ground after being shot by a Eureka police officer in September. Police officers saw McClain carrying a gun in his waistband. According to the Eureka Times Standard, Eureka police Officer Stephen Linfoot stated he would shoot him if he reached for it.
Inexplicably, McClain then dropped his hands and reached for his gun, prompting Linfoot to shoot his weapon killing him instantly. It was later determined that McClain’s weapon was a black Walther PPQ replica BB gun.
Woodland Hills attorney Dale Galipo filed a lawsuit against the city of Eureka, Linfoot, Sgt. Brian Stephens and other unnamed EPD officers, in behalf of McClain’s family.
“I think the family, based on the information they have, they feel that this shooting was unjustified, but they are also concerned about the national problem we have now with police officers using destructive force,” the attorney said. “It’s very important for them that they get justice for their son. They don’t want to see this happen to someone else’s son. That’s their main motivation going forward with this lawsuit. They’re hoping that there will be some accountability for the officer or officers.”