In an extraordinary exclusive interview with The Root, Leon Ford speaks publicly about his life since the shooting on a Pittsburgh street a year ago that left him paralyzed from the waist down.
On Nov. 11, 2012, just before 10 p.m., Leon Ford Jr. looked in his rearview mirror and saw flashing lights.
Ford pulled to the side of the road. Almost everything that happened next — whether Ford should have been stopped, what happened when Pittsburgh police officers approached Ford’s car, what Ford and the three officers said and did, even the order of events — is disputed.
But this much is not: Ford, 19 at the time of the incident and unarmed, was shot multiple times and left paralyzed below his waist and now faces up to 20 years in prison. He has been charged with aggravated assault along with two counts of reckless endangerment and traffic violations, including running a stop sign and reckless driving.
Now Ford, his parents and his attorney, Benjamin Crump, are speaking to journalist Jeff Johnson about the incident that night, the life Ford had before the shooting and what his future holds.