The parents of a man who was fatally shot by police in South Los Angeles filed a civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit — this time in state court — alleging Ezell Ford was killed while lying on the ground unarmed.
The complaint was filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court by Edsell and Tritobia Ford. They seek unspecified damages.
Ford, 25, was shot in the 200 block of West 65th Street in South Los Angeles at 8:10 p.m. Aug. 11. Police said Officers Sharlton Wampler and Antonio Villegas were approaching Ford, who was making “suspicious movements,” when he turned and “grabbed one of the officers.”
“During the struggle, they fell to the ground and the individual (Ford) tried to remove the officer’s handgun from its holster,” according to the LAPD. “The partner officer then fired his handgun and the officer on the ground fired his backup weapon at the individual.”
Ford was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
According to the lawsuit filed Friday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Wampler and Villegas — who are named defendants along with the city and the LAPD — “intentionally and/or negligently fatally shot unarmed decedent Ezell Ford multiple times with their firearms” after he had complied with their order to lie on the ground.
The officers knew Ford was “mentally challenged” and that he was not committing a crime at the time, the lawsuit states.
It was not immediately clear if the new lawsuit is replacing the first complaint filed by Ford’s family in September in federal court.
The shooting touched off several protests and calls for a speedy and transparent investigation. Activists have contended that eyewitnesses dispute the police account of events.
— City News Service