Family, Protesters Demand Answers After LAPD Shooting of Unarmed Man

As the City of Ferguson, Missouri enters its ninth day of unrest, controversy over another fatal police shooting is brewing closer to home.

On Sunday, thousands of protestors descended on Downtown Los Angeles to protest the death of unarmed 25-year-old Ezell Ford, who was shot by Los Angeles police last week. Hundreds of the protestors made their way to Los Angeles Police Department headquarters where they demanded answers and shouted “Hands up! Don’t shoot!” in unison.

While large and emotionally-charged, Sunday’s demonstrations remained mostly peaceful. They came just four days after Ford’s family said it would file a lawsuit against the Los Angeles Police Department.

Ford was shot and killed on August 11 during “an investigative stop” by LAPD officers in the 200 block of 65th Street in Los Angeles. During the stop, police said a struggle ensued and that Ford attempted to grab one of the officer’s guns. Some witnesses have disputed that account, however, saying they never saw such an altercation. Ford’s mother has said her son was lying on the ground when he was shot.

According to his relatives, Ford suffered from mental illness. In addition to a history of psychiatric problems, Ford had previously been convicted of marijuana possession and illegal possession of a loaded firearm.

Los Angeles Police Commission President Steve Soboroff said a thorough investigation of the incident is being conducted. He met with civil rights advocates to discuss the matter last week.

Read more about the controversy surrounding Ezell Ford’s death here.