On August 11 Black Lives Matter protesters erupted at the mention of “black-on-black killings” and shut down the weekly Los Angeles Police Commission meeting.
The protesters began chanting the name of Ezell Ford, a “mentally ill” black man who died on August 11, 2014, while allegedly trying to take a gun away from an LAPD officer.
According to the LA Times, the LAPD says an officer stopped Ford while he was walking home, and Ford allegedly “tackled…the [officer] and attempted to grab his gun, prompting the officer to reach for a backup weapon and fire. The officer’s partner also shot at Ford.”
The Black Lives Matter protesters who shut down the LAPD Commission meeting included Cal State L.A. professor Melina Abdullah, who also organized the protest. She said, “They have this policy of keeping killer cops on duty and they expect us to just accept it. If we did, we wouldn’t be living up to our duty as people.”
Some of the protesters held signs bearing the names of the officers who shot at Ford, emblazoned with the caption, “Wanted for the Cold Blooded Murder of Ezell Ford.”
The actions of both officers who shot at Ford were reviewed by an LAPD panel, and officer Sharlton Wampler, the one whom Ford allegedly tackled, was found in violation of department policy because “He did not have a reason to stop and detain Ford in the first place.” Regarding his partner, Antonio Villegas, the “panel disapproved only of Villegas’ initial decision to draw his weapon early in the confrontation, but said he ultimately was right to fire at Ford in an effort to protect [Wampler].”
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