LA police shoot and kill unarmed mentally ill man

The police shot and killed an unarmed black man in South Los Angeles on Monday night.
The police said that the man, whom the department did not identify, had tackled an officer and lunged for the weapon in his holster before being shot at by both the officer and his partner.
Family members told a local television station on Tuesday that the man was Ezell Ford, a 24-year-old whose “mental problems” they said were well known to the police. Cmdr. Andrew Smith, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Police Department, said that while he knew that the man had some kind of arrest record, it was unclear what the arrests had been for or whether the police had any evidence of mental illness.
According to the police, the man was shot around 8:20 p.m. after a struggle during an investigative stop. After the two officers approached him, Commander Smith said, the man “spun around, tucked his head toward the officer’s gun and basically tackled him to the ground, trying to grab at the weapon.” The partner shot at the man while the lead officer relied on his “backup weapon” to shoot, he added. The man was taken to a hospital but died from his injuries.
A woman who identified herself to the television station, KTLA, as Tritobia Ford, the victim’s mother, said that her son had been lying on the ground and complying with the officer’s commands when he was shot three times.
“My son was a good kid,” Ms. Ford said. “He didn’t deserve to die the way he did.”
Mr. Ford is the 16th person to have been shot at by the city’s police this year, although in two cases shots were fired but did not injure anyone, according to Liliana Preciado, a spokeswoman for the Police Department. While some police cars in Los Angeles are equipped with video cameras, the cars assigned to the area where Mr. Ford was shot have not yet received them, she said.
The police have not released the name of the officer involved, but Ms. Preciado said they would most likely do so once a preliminary investigation was completed this week.
Friends and family members of Mr. Ford are planning a protest in front of the Police Department headquarters on Sunday.
As with all shootings that involve officers, the case will be reviewed by the department’s force investigation division, as well as the inspector general and the Board of Police Commissioners, to determine whether the shooting was within the guidelines for the use of force.

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