LAPD sued for 'sadistic' murder of mentally-ill black man
The Los Angeles Police Department is facing a federal lawsuit for the use of "sadistic and malicious" force in shooting death of a mentally disabled black man last month.Ezell Ford, 25, was fatally shot on August 11 by two LAPD officers. His family has disputed police allegations that Ezell tried to grab one of the officers' gun, Press TV correspondent Ross Frasier reports from Los Angeles.
The attorney for Ford’s family has filed a federal lawsuit and a $75 million claim against the city.
“Ford ... was unarmed, posed no threat to anyone, including defendants, and had committed no crime,” the complaint states.
Attorney Steven Lerman said Ford was lying on the ground when the officers opened fire. He said the unarmed man may have had trouble understanding police orders before he was shot three times in the back.
“This was a homicide, plain and simple. A disarmed, unarmed, helpless hapless person was shot to death for no other reason that these officers were bored on a Monday night at 8 o’clock,” Lerman said.
The LAPD claims officers shot Ford during a struggle when he grabbed an officer’s gun.
But Lerman said he has eyewitness testimony that can prove Ford was murdered.
The attorney also said Ford’s disability was well known to the officers involved in the shooting, Sharlton Wampler and Antonio Villegas.
“We cannot tolerate or stand for the continued conduct of abuse, discrimination and racial profiling that allowed this poor man to be shot dead,” Lerman said.
Ford’s death has sparked a number of protests in the Los Angeles area. Activists say a lawsuit is not enough to punish the officers.
The lawsuit also seeks to end what Lerman called “the police department’s longstanding practice of using excessive force and racial profiling of African-Americans.”
Ford’s death came two days before the racially-charged shooting death of unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown, by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.