LOS ANGELES, Aug. 13 (UPI) -- A mentally challenged, unarmed man was shot and killed by police officers in Los Angeles, while his family says he was lying down and complying with officers' commands.
Police say 25-year-old Ezell Ford was hailed by police Monday night for "an investigative stop" during which "a struggle ensued," prompting police to open fire. Ford was struck multiple times and transported to a nearby emergency room where he died. No officers were injured in the incident.
An unidentified cousin of the victim told KTLA he witnessed the end of the incident. He said Ford was mentally challenged, and it's highly unlikely the officers were not aware.
"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 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."
LAPD maintains the shooting was warranted and their actions were forced.
The incident inspired outrage and sorrow on Twitter, as it comes on the heels of Michael Brown's death at the hands of police in Ferguson, Mo., in a summer that has been so riddled with police brutality, Gawker property Deadspin brazenly declared "America is not for black people," in a recent editorial.
Wait. Sorry. With #EzellFord, police around the US have killed 10 unarmed people illegally in the last 3 weeks. That we know. DO NOT FORGET.— Michonne. (@ErickaSimone) August 13, 2014
If the officers who killed Sean Bell, Ezell Ford, Michael Brown, Ramarley Graham had on cameras, they'd all likely still be alive today.— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) August 13, 2014