I’m pretty tired of trying to figure out what really happened when a black man is killed by the police or some wannabe police. The story from Los Angeles just makes me weary.
Here you have a mentally ill 25 year old man walking down the street and the police stop him, shoot him, handcuff him, call the paramedics, and he dies.
Here’s what the police say happened:
LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith said two veteran gang officers were driving down West 65th Street on Monday night when they spotted Ezell Ford, 25, walking on the sidewalk. An LAPD statement, citing a preliminary investigation, said the officers got out of their car and tried to talk to Ford but that he “continued walking and made suspicious movements, including attempting to conceal his hands.”
When the officers got closer, Smith said, Ford “whirled around and basically tackled the lead officer.” Ford reached for the officer’s gun, Smith said, prompting his partner to open fire. The officer on the ground reached for his backup weapon and also fired, Smith said.
Ford was handcuffed — as is routine in such shootings, according to the LAPD — and paramedics were called to the scene. He died later at a hospital…
……“He didn’t comply with any of the officers’ instructions,” Smith said. “He was grabbing the officer’s gun with the officer underneath him.”
Now, here’s the thing. If I am a police officer and someone has tackled my partner and is lying on top of him, about the last thing I am going to do is to shoot. Why? Because bullets pass through bodies. Even non-magic bullets do this. If you shoot at a man who is lying on your partner, you are shooting at your partner. And here’s another thing. Bullets ricochet off bone. Even if you think you have a clear shot that will hit the man on top without hitting the man on the bottom, you can’t be too sure.
So, the police have this story, but the story doesn’t make even a little bit of sense to me. And then there are the eyewitness accounts.
But some who lived in the area questioned the police account. A friend of Ford’s family told The Times that she witnessed part of the incident and saw no struggle between the officers and Ford.
Dorene Henderson, 57, said she had crossed the street in front of Ford when she heard someone yell, “Get down, get down.”
Henderson said one officer was out of the car when she heard a gunshot. She said neighbors began yelling at the officers, “He’s got mental problems.”
Henderson said she saw the other officer get out of the driver’s side of the police car, and that she then heard two more shots.
A man interviewed by KTLA-TV said Ford was complying with officers or had been subdued at the time of the shooting.
So, what am I to think? Whose story makes more sense?