LAPD Cops Shot Ezell Ford in the Back, Autopsy Finds

Activists look at a mural of Ezell Ford on Dec. 29, 2014, at the site where the 25-year-old mentally ill man was shot and killed by Los Angeles police in August.
David McNew/Getty Images

An autopsy released by the Los Angeles Police Department details that Ezell Ford, the mentally ill 25-year-old who was killed by police Aug. 11, was shot three times, including once in the back, KABC reports.

Two days after Michael Brown’s shooting death, Los Angeles police officers were attempting to restrain Ford, who family members said suffered from mental illness but was harmless. The police said the young man resisted arrest, taking one of the officers to the ground, and that while Ford was on top of the officer, he made an attempt to grab the officer’s gun.


“The officer yelled out to his partner that Mr. Ford had his gun. The officer’s partner then fired two rounds, striking Mr. Ford. At about the same time, the officer on the ground, while on his back, grabbed his backup weapon, reached around Mr. Ford and fired one shot at close range striking Mr. Ford in the back,” the LAPD said in a statement, according to the news station.

No officers were wounded during the incident.

According to the autopsy, the fatal shots were the wounds to Ford’s back and right abdomen. The wound to his back had a “muzzle imprint,” signifying that the shot was indeed taken from close range.


Witnesses at the scene that August day have countered police claims, with a few telling reporters that Ford was facedown on the ground when he was shot. 

A lawyer for Ford’s family, Steve Lerman, has said the fact that the young man was shot in the back is “criminal.”


“I dare say that this is criminal. I think they executed this poor young man, mentally incompetent man,” Lerman told the news station. “Defenseless, harmless, unarmed.”

Read more at KABC.

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