On Jan. 24, the Los Angeles District Attorney cleared LAPD officers Sharlton Wampler and Antonio Villegas in the Aug. 11, 2014, shooting death of Ezell Ford.
The DA found that Wampler and Villegas “acted lawfully in self-defense and in defense of others when they shot Ezell Ford.”
According to the LA County District Attorney’s Office’s summary of their larger report:
The officers saw Ford walking away from a known gang area. They approached him and said they wanted to talk to him but Ford quickly walked away and ignored their request, according to the report.
The officers believed Ford was trying to discard an illegal substance at the time of the incident. To stop him from doing so, Wampler placed his hands on Ford’s shoulders but Ford spun around, grabbed the officer by the waist and both men fell to the ground, the report said.
“The evidence indicates that Ford was on top of Wampler, struggling to obtain Wampler’s primary service weapon and posing an immediate threat to his safety and his partner’s safety,” according to the report. “In fear for their lives, Villegas and Wampler each responded with deadly force.”
District Attorney Jackie Lacey said: “Our office has a daunting challenge each and every time there is an officer-involved shooting, In this case, we did everything we could to ensure a comprehensive investigation. Although the loss of Mr. Ford’s life is tragic, we believe the officers’ actions were legally justified and the evidence supports our decision.”
KPCC reports that Ford’s mother, Tritobia Ford, responded to the DA’s findings by saying the family’s “last bit of hope” was gone. She added, “My son, he had been in trouble before. But nevertheless, he didn’t do anything that would warrant him being murdered in the street like he was on the night of August 11, 2014. It was unwarranted. It was unjustified.”
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.