Ezell Ford’s autopsy report revealed something shocking: he was shot three times by police officers in August. Two of these shots were fatal, he never stood a chance. He was only 25 years old, he was a black man, and according to his family, he was also mentally challenged.
According to the autopsy report, two doctors consulted Ezel Ford’s body, and through a muzzle imprint, they were able to discover that the shots were fired at close range. The reported determined that Ezel tested positive for marijuana, but nevertheless, his death was ruled as a homicide, committed by police officers.
Chief of the Police Department, Chief Charlie Beck urged that residents should not jump to conclusions. His defense was that an autopsy did not indicate whether or not this was a legal shooting.
The motivation and the propriety were not revealed in the autopsy, and as such, it does not reveal whether or not, for example, the officers acted in self-defense.
The Chief also stressed there was nothing in the coroner’s report inconsistent with statements obtained from the officers. Apparently, according to the department, Ford was unarmed, but was shot dead after he struggled with police officers Shariton Wampler and Antonio Villegar. The decisive moment was when Ford attempted to reach the guns the officers carry with them.
However, according to witnesses, things did not really happen like that.
Beck offered some more details at a news conference, where he said that the officers saw Ford on a sidewalk and attempted to approach him, but he walked away while apparently concealing his hands. According to Beck, when the police officers caught up with him, he grabbed one officer and forced him to the ground.
While on the ground, Ford attempted to grab the officer’s handgun and remove it from the holster. At this point, the officer yelled at his partner asking for help because Ford had his gun. The officer’s partner then shot Ford twice, and the officer on the ground quickly grabbed his backup weapon and shot Ford at close range, hitting him on his back.
This fatal shooting became even more of a theme after LAPD ordered that the autopsy should be concealed. The department justified this request because they wanted to interview more witnesses before anyone could jump to conclusions.
Apparently, Ford’s family had an independent autopsy conducted, in which the results were “quite different” from the ones acquired at the official autopsy.
Ford’s family attorney reacted to Beck’s statements, saying that you do not shoot someone in the back, under the circumstances they were in. According to the attorney, this was an unprovoked assault on Ford.
Beck, however, said that the results from the investigation remain at least months away.
Whether or not the LAPD is more responsible for Ezell Ford’s death than they are letting on is unknown, but there is no doubt that there are situations in which people die due to the carelessness or recklessness of a person or business.
If your loved one has suffered fatal injuries as a result of negligence, call (800) 838-6644 today to obtain a no hassle free case evaluation from our LA wrongful death attorneys who have helped recover over $1 Billion in damages. Timothy J. Ryan & Associates has years of experience assisting grieving families and can help you and yours get what you need to move forward.