Activists Demand Dist. Atty. File Murder Charges Against LAPD Officers for Death of Black Man

Ezell Ford and Black Lives Matter protest at Rose Bowl Parade. (@Garrick Ruiz / Twitter)
@Garrick Ruiz / Twitter
Los Angeles, CA

Saturday political activists gathered in South Central demanding that L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey file murder charges against two officers who fatally shot a 25-year-old black man during an altercation.

An autopsy report released on Monday revealed that Ezell Ford was shot three times, once in the back, by two veteran Los Angeles Police Department officers Sharlton Wampler and Antonio Villegas. Breitbart News reported that the autopsy report proved to be consistent with the officers claims that the fatal shots were fired as a result of Ford wrestling one of the officers guns from his holster.

Steven Lerman, the Ford family attorney, called the officers “animalistic” after the autopsy report was released. The attorney, known for defending  Rodney King in 1991, asserted that the officers “had nothing better to do” then to kill Ford. Lerman has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit as well as a $75 million lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles in behalf of the Ford family.

Moreover, the Los Angeles Times reported that Jubilee Shine, an organizer for the Coalition for Community Control Over the Police, called for the autopsy release of Omar Abrego, a 37-year-old man who died after he scuffled with two gang unit sergeants. Although the fatal struggle between Abrego and the officers took place nine days before Ford’s death and a week before Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, his autopsy report has yet to be released.

On August 2 the LAPD  noticed Abrego driving erratically, speeding and coming close to running over a pedestrian, reported KTLA. Two sergeants from the Newton Division tried to pull Abrego over, but he exited the vehicle and fled. When the officers caught up with him an altercation ensued, resulting in a laceration to Abrego. The LAPD determined that an ambulance was required and took Abrego to the hospital where he died 12 hours later.

Family members and witnesses contend that Abrego was beaten by the officers and struck while he was lying face down. Yair Abrego, the victim’s brother, said that “They were beating him real bad, and he died of the wounds.”

Another anonymous witness told KTLA that police appeared to punch the man for about 10 minutes and that officers beat Abrego with a baton.