L.A. Mayor Asks for Meeting With Mother of LAPD Shooting Victim Ezell Ford
Ezell Ford via Dennis Romero
UPDATE at 2:58 p.m., Tuesday, June 9: The mayor's office disputes this account. More below.
As Los Angeles awaits the Los Angeles Police Commission's decision on officers' use of force in the fatal shooting of Ezell Ford, Mayor Eric Garcetti has asked for a 3 p.m. meeting with the victim's mother, Tritobia Ford, L.A. Weekly has learned.
The meeting would appear to be timed to take place shortly after the commission's decision.
Demonstrators milled outside the Los Angeles Police Department's headquarters downtown today as the body considered the fate of two officers involved in the deadly Aug. 11 shooting of 25-year-old Ford.
Black Lives Matters Los Angeles and other organizations believe the shooting is part of a string of unnecessary police killings of unarmed black men nationwide. Police say Ford went for an officer's gun when deadly force was used.
Protesters have asked that the commission discuss the matter in public, but the body's president, Steve Soboroff, said that state law prevents it from discussing a personnel matter in the open.
The Los Angeles Times reported last week that LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and the department's inspector general, Alex Bustamante, have already determined that the confrontation with Ford was within policy. The District Attorney's Office has yet to reveal the results of its own investigation into the shooting.
The mayor's meeting request indicates to some that this is a done deal — the cops will be cleared* — and that Garcetti is hoping Tritobia Ford can keep tensions in the African-American community calm. We reached out to Garcetti's office but had yet to hear back.
During today's commission meeting, demonstrators used public comment time to express their frustration with the process.
Tritobia Ford told the body, "I'm begging you, please, please ... I have faith in you yet."
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Outside the meeting, Melina Abdullah of Black Lives Matter leader told us, "The process is clearly biased."
Demonstrators' reaction to the commission's decision, she said, "will be organic."
UPDATE at 2:58 p.m., Tuesday, June 9: A spokesman for the mayor's office says it's not accurate to say Garcetti requested a 3 p.m. meeting with Tritobia Ford.
UPDATE at 1:15 p.m., Thursday, June 11: This didn't turn out to be a "done deal" at all: The commission found that both officers violated policy. Read more here. Also: The mayor did end up meeting with Tritobia Ford Tuesday.
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