Autopsy Reveals LAPD Shot Ezell Ford in the Back

Originally published on January 1, 2015, at NationofChange.org

Under pressure from the mayor of Los Angeles, the LAPD finally released Ezell Ford’s autopsy report to the public. According to the report, an LAPD officer shot Ford in the right arm and right side while a second officer shot him in the back at close range. Although the officers claim Ford attempted to grab one of their guns, witnesses do not corroborate their account.

At approximately 8:10pm on August 11, officers Sharlton Wampler and Antonio Villegas of LAPD’s Newton Area Gang Enforcement Detail saw Ford walking down the sidewalk and decided to conduct an investigative stop. According to an LAPD press release, Wampler and Villegas exited their vehicle and attempted to talk to Ford who continued walking while concealing his hands. As the officers approached Ford, he allegedly grabbed one of them and a struggle ensued.

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16 Unarmed Black People Killed by Police this Year

Originally published on December 13, 2014, at NationofChange.org

At least 16 unarmed black people have been killed by police officers this year including a woman and two children. According to law enforcement officials, these people lost their lives in instances of poor police training, miscommunication, justified tactics, and excessive brutality. Although the majority of unarmed individuals killed by police this year have been black, officers have also been killing unarmed people of other races.

On January 16, Jordan Baker was allegedly killed in a case of mistaken identity. Working off-duty as a mall security guard, Houston PD Officer Juventino Castro confronted Baker because he fit the description of some robbery suspects who had recently held up three stores while wearing black hoodies. Castro claims Baker charged at him, forcing the off-duty officer to shoot Baker to death. A grand jury is deciding whether to charge Castro with killing Baker.

In August, North Augusta Public Safety Officer Justin Craven was charged with misconduct in office for gunning down a 68-year-old unarmed man named Ernest Satterwhite. After a slow-speed chase that ended in Satterwhite’s driveway on February 9, Officer Craven ran up to Satterwhite’s car door and shot him to death. The prosecution sought to charge Craven with voluntary manslaughter, but the grand jury indicted him on a misdemeanor instead. Satterwhite’s family has filed a lawsuit alleging Craven had disobeyed orders and lied about Satterwhite trying to grab his gun.

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