We’re not against the police. We’re not against the police department, but we are against police who commit misconduct (and those who help cover it up).
Tritobia Ford, the mother of Ezell Ford who was killed in 2014 by the Los Angeles Police Department in South Los Angeles, says enough is enough and is planning to chain herself to 211 West Temple Street to remind Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey that she still owes her family an answer.
It’s been 710 days or one year, 11 months and 10 days since the killing of 25-year-old Ezell Ford in South Los Angeles by the LAPD and Lacey’s office is still pondering whether or not they want to file criminal charges against the officers involved. Next month will make two years since Ford’s death.
“I just can’t take this anymore,” said Mrs. Ford. “I used to call down to her office on a regular basis but I don’t even bother anymore because they never return my phone calls. Sometimes I feel like her office is just laughing at the pain my family and I are going through. We want to see charges filed against the officers but more importantly we just want an answer. It didn’t even take the police department this long to do their investigation so what’s the hold up really Jackie Lacey? I think it’s exactly as you said Jasmyne, she’s doing Chief Beck a favor and wasting time so he doesn’t have to do anything. I don’t know if Beck and Lacey think we will forget or that if enough time passes by no one will care anymore. At this point I feel like I have no other recourse other than to chain myself to Lacey’s office building. I would go on a hunger strike but I’d probably end up dead because they’d let me starve to death. Everything Mayor Garcetti said to me was lies. From City Hall to the LAPD to the District Attorney’s office no one has told us anything and once the cameras left, it wasn’t news anymore and Black Lives Matter wasn’t in front of the Mayor’s house, we can’t even get a phone call returned. I’m done waiting.”
Let me tell you this, the last thing Mayor Eric Garcetti needs is Black Lives Matter camped outside of City Hall and the mother of a man killed by the police chained to the outside of the District Attorney office’s. My two cents. The optics on that wouldn’t work in his favor at all.
As I said before, Lacey is using a stalling tactic known by insiders as tolling.
Tolling allows for the pausing or delaying of the running of the period of time set forth by a statute of limitations.
As long as D.A. Lacey sticks to her story of investigating the evidence on the Ford shooting, the clock is stopped for Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck who is responsible for any discipline the officers might face. Basically neither one of them has to do anything.
While there’s no statute of limitations on charging someone with murder, almost every other criminal charge that the two officers might face has a three-year time limit for charges to be filed.
Ford was killed after a questionable stop by two Los Angeles police officers on 65th and Broadway. Sharlton Wampler and Antonio Villegas, gang enforcement officers in the LAPD’s Newton Division, said they believed Ford was trying to dispose of drugs that were in his possession, which Wampler felt was sufficient evidence to arrest him. No drugs were ever found in the vicinity.
They also said that Ford tried to remove the Wampler’s handgun from its holster and that Villegas said he feared for his life and that of his partner and shot Ford in the arm, then at Wampler’s urging fired a second round into Ford’s side. Wampler said Ford continued to resist, causing him to retrieve his backup gun and used it to reach around Ford and shoot him in the back.
Villegas said he believed Ford may have been armed because he was in “a gang area.” Ford was unarmed.
To date, Chief Beck has yet to announce any decision of discipline for the two officers involved. The Police Commission has long since issued its non-binding-Chief Beck-can-take-it-or-leave-it-opinion that that one officer was justified in the shooting while the other violated Ford’s civil rights by initially detaining him.
The Los Angeles Police Protective League embarked on a character assassination after the fact public relations tour immediately after the shooting claiming that Ezell Ford was a gang member—which his family vehemently denies.
The calls for the autopsy report got so loud in November of 2014 that Mayor Eric Garcetti was forced to step in and give Chief Beck a deadline on when the autopsy results would be released by publicly announcing that the results would be released before year’s end. And I’ll be damned if Beck didn’t ride it out until the last possible minute to release that little bit of information.
The autopsy was released on December 29. It showed Ford was shot three times, in the back, side and right arm. The gunshot wound in his back bore a “muzzle imprint” suggesting the shot was fired at very close range. It also noted multiple abrasions to Ford’s hand and arm.
Meanwhile Ezell Ford’s family filed a $75 million wrongful death lawsuit against the LAPD in federal court.
Insiders close to the situation tell me that Lacey has no plans on charging the officers involved and that it is very unlikely the officers will face any serious discipline or be fired by Chief Beck.