Today’s LA Police Commission decision was a long time coming for the Ford family and, unfortunately, it is of little comfort not only because it was a split-decision, but because, ultimately, it may well be for naught. The next step in the process is for Chief Beck to make a decision in the case. As Chief of Police, he is entitled to do anything from handing down the mildest to the most severe disciplinary action or, he can do nothing.
We already know Chief Beck was opposed to any finding of guilt by the Police Commission. The Commission’s own Inspector General had also cleared both officers. Beck has not made a public statement.
Mayor Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles’ former District Attorney, gave a press conference in which he expressed sympathy for the Ford family, as well as support for the police, while qualifying the Police Commission’s decision as “Today, the system worked as it is supposed to.” Mr. Garcetti’s emphasis was mostly on the plight of young people of color in Los Angeles and his new administration’s effort to provide summer job programs and a forum for Los Angeles’ youth.
While Garcetti and even the Police Commission members’ intentions may well be honorable, we are still left with the same broken system by which police departments have complete power over the consequences of their misdeeds.
Ezell Ford should be alive today. He isn’t, and his killers may not bear any consequence for the brutality they inflicted on him, thanks to the extraordinary powers of the highest-ranking police officer in Los Angeles.
L.A. Police Commission faults officers in Ezell Ford shooting – LA Times
The Los Angeles Police Commission issued a mixed ruling Tuesday in last year’s killing of a mentally ill black man, finding that one officer was wrong to use deadly force but clearing another in the fatal shooting. The board also faulted both officers for their decisions to draw their weapons at different points during the confrontation with Ezell Ford and disapproved of the tactics used by one of the officers. The unanimous ruling brought to a close a 10-month investigation into a case that fanned anger and ignited protests over the use of deadly force by police. […]
With their vote, the commission rejected a recommendation by LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, who believed both officers were right to open fire and had urged commissioners to clear both of any wrongdoing. Like Beck, the commission’s inspector general also recommended that the panel find that the shooting was justified because of evidence pointing to a struggle between one of the officers and Ford over the officer’s gun. As in all police shootings, the commission judged the two officers, Sharlton Wampler and Antonio Villegas, on three issues: the officers’ use of deadly force, their decision to draw their weapons and the tactics they used throughout the encounter. […]
Read the rest of this article on L.A. Police Commission faults officers in Ezell Ford shooting – LA Times
1 LAPD Officer Unjustified; 1 Justified in Ezell Ford Case: Officials
The closed-session meeting comes after protests outside Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Hancock Park home that called for action against the officers in the shooting and Chief Charlie Beck
By Jonathan Lloyd and Toni Guinyard
NBC 4, Los Angeles
Curated from NBC4-Los Angeles