When Eric Garcetti asked the audience of a Fast Company magazine-sponsored discussion back in May who had heard of Ezell Ford, a black, mentally-challenged 25-year-old who was killed during an altercation with the LAPD last summer, only a few people raised their hands. That number would likely be much larger today.
That’s because the Police Commission’s inspector general and police chief Charlie Beck determined late last week that the officers involved in Ford’s death were justified in his shooting, prompting protesters to gather outside Mayor Garcetti’s Hancock Park residence over the weekend. Los Angeles Daily News reports demonstrators, including local leaders of the Black Lives Matter movement, say they’d like Garcetti to fire police chief Charlie Beck. Ford’s mother is calling for a U.S. Department of Justice investigation.
Garcetti, who will spend today meeting with federal officials in Washington, D.C., refrained from addressing those demands in a statement released to the media this morning. “Last night I called Ms. Tritobia Ford. I didn’t reach her but left a message, telling her my heart goes out to her and her grieving family, as it has since the news first broke last August,” he said. “I look forward to meeting with her in the coming days. Trust and transparency are the foundation of the relationship between the Los Angeles Police Department and people it serves. I have confidence that the Police Commission will conduct an impartial and fair-minded review of the investigations conducted by both the LAPD and the independent Inspector General.”
The Police Commission is scheduled to review the shooting on Tuesday. A federal wrongful death lawsuit brought against the LAPD by the Ford family is pending.