Funeral today for Ezell Ford, mentally ill man killed by LA police – Los Angeles Times

Posted: Saturday, August 30, 2014

Funeral services are scheduled Saturday for Ezell Ford, a mentally ill man shot to death during a confrontation with Los Angeles police earlier this month.

Services are set to begin at 11 a.m. at First AME Church at 2270 S. Harvard Blvd. in South Los Angeles, according to a funeral announcement. The Rev. Cecil “Chip” Murray will deliver the eulogy.

A viewing will begin at 10 a.m..

The family has asked those attending to wear white.

The fatal shooting of Ford on Aug. 11 has led to peaceful demonstrations and renewed complaints from some residents that LAPD officers mistreat minorities in South L.A.

The department this week identified the officers who shot Ford as Sharlton Wampler and Antonio Villegas, who are assigned to the Newton Division gang enforcement detail.

LAPD records show Wampler has been on the force for 12 years and Villegas for eight.

A lawyer representing the two officers cautioned against judging their actions until the department’s investigation is complete.

Conflicting accounts have emerged about the killing of Ford, a 25-year-old African American. Police say Wampler, who is Asian American, and Villegas, who is Latino, got out of their car and tried to talk to Ford as he was walking along West 65th Street near Broadway.

According to a preliminary version of the encounter released by the LAPD, Ford “continued walking and made suspicious movements, including attempting to conceal his hands.”

When the officers got closer, a department spokesman said, Ford “whirled around and basically tackled the lead officer.” Ford reached for the officer’s gun, prompting his partner to open fire, the spokesman said. The officer on the ground unholstered his backup weapon and also fired, according to the department.

A friend of Ford’s family told the Los Angeles Times that she witnessed part of the encounter and saw no struggle between Ford and the officers.

Ford’s death came two days after an 18-year-old unarmed black man was shot and killed in Ferguson, Mo., by a white police officer. The death of Michael Brown sparked days of violence in Missouri and nationwide discussions about police conduct and race relations.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times


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