And Again

[Content Note: Police brutality; death; racism; disablism.]

In Los Angeles early yesterday, police shot and killed 25-year-old Ezell Ford, an unarmed black man, while he was reportedly "lying on the ground and complying with the officers' commands." He was shot three times, and was then "transported to a hospital where he underwent surgery" where he "later succumbed to his injuries."
Patrol officers had "conducted an investigative stop" in the 200 block of 65th Street, and "during the stop a struggle ensued" and police opened fire, an LAPD news release issued midmorning Tuesday stated.

...Officers sustained minor scrapes during the altercation and did not require hospitalization, [Lt. Ellis Imaizumi of the Los Angeles Police Department] had said very early Tuesday. The news release stated no officers were injured.

Police were being tight-lipped with details about the incident because of a "gathering" at the scene of the shooting, Imaizumi said.

It was unknown if the "suspect" had any gang affiliations, police said in the news release.

A woman who said she was the deceased man's mother identified him in a phone call to KTLA as Ezell Ford.

"My heart is so heavy," Tritobia Ford said in an interview Tuesday evening. "My son was a good kid. He didn’t deserve to die the way he did."

Her son was lying on the ground and complying with the officers' commands when he was shot three times, Tritobia Ford said.

...A man who did not give his name and identified himself only as a cousin of the victim described what he witnessed, saying he had been around the corner when the altercation first occurred.

"They laid him out and for whatever reason, they shot him in the back, knowing mentally, he has complications. Every officer in this area, from the Newton Division, knows that — that this child has mental problems," the man said.

"The excessive force … there was no purpose for it. The multiple shootings in the back while he's laying down? No. Then when the mom comes, they don't try to console her … they pull the billy clubs out."
An investigation is underway. By the same people who described the man who was shot and killed as a "suspect" and issued a press release referring to his "unknown gang affiliations."

I suspect that Ford's psychological disabilities, whatever they were, will be used to justify this shooting, instead of being used to underline why police should have taken even more care with him. In any case, I cannot begin to imagine how will be explained the alleged necessity of shooting someone while he was lying on the ground, unarmed.

Related and Recommended Reading by Mychal Denzel Smith: "The Death of Michael Brown and the Search for Justice in Black America."

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