The Los Angeles police chief and an independent watchdog have
determined two patrolmen were justified in the shooting death of
unarmed black man Ezell Ford last year, the L.A. Times newspaper
reported on Friday, citing unidentified sources.
Department investigators found evidence indicating Ford had
struggled for control of one of the patrolmen's gun, supporting
the account the officers gave after the incident, the newspaper
cited two sources as saying.
The department's inspector general, Alex Bustamante, also found
the shooting justified, but faulted the officers for the manner
in which they approached Ford in the moments before the
shooting, the Times reported, citing the sources.
Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman Jane Kim said the
department would not offer any comment ahead of a Police
Commission meeting on Tuesday, when the civilian watchdog group
is scheduled to weigh the use of deadly force and the officers'
The newspaper said Beck will recommend to the oversight
commission that the officers be cleared of wrongdoing.
Bustamante will recommend the panel fault the officers for their
tactics based on the findings of his own investigation. The
board makes a final ruling, the newspaper said.
Two officers shot Ezell Ford, who was 25 and described by family
attorneys as mentally challenged, on Aug. 11 last year after he
struggled with one of them and tried to grab the policeman's
holstered service revolver.
Ford's death came two days after the fatal police shooting of
unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, that
triggered a wave of protests alleging excessive use of force by
Ford's death was also greeted with street demonstrations and the
family filed a federal lawsuit over the shooting, seeking $75
million in damages.
In March, Ford's parents filed a second lawsuit against the
police department and city, alleging their son was targeted for
excessive force because of his skin color.