Man Paralyzed by Cops Faces 20 Years

The case of Leon Ford Jr., who was unarmed at the time of the shooting, raises questions about racial profiling.

The Pittsburgh Police Department declined to comment on the case on Tuesday, citing a pending civil rights lawsuit that Ford and his family have filed against the department. As reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, police say that during a routine traffic stop, Ford refused to answer officers’ questions. One of the officers claimed that Ford then reached for something, and when the officer opened the passenger door in response, Ford drove off. It was then that he was shot. The shooting remains under investigation.

Janell Ross is a reporter in New York who covers political and economic issues. She is working on a book about race, economic inequality and the recession, due to be published by Beacon Press next year. Follow her on Twitter.