Tempers Flare at South LA Meeting Over LAPD Killings

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Police Chief Charlie Beck asks community members for patience during the investigations into police killings that has residents and activists outraged. Beverly White reports from South Los Angeles for the NBC4 News at 11 on Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014. (Published Tuesday, Aug 19, 2014)

    Police Chief Charlie Beck asked community members for patience at a South Los Angeles church Tuesday night as tempers flared over two separate police killings of unarmed men.

    Beck, along with Police Commission President Steve Soboroff and Inspector Gen. Alex Bustamante, met with residents and activists at Paradise Baptist Church to address criticism over the killings of Ezell Ford and Omar Abrego, and the handling of the investigations.

    "I think it would be helpful if you could tell the family and the rest of us, what probable cause there was when the officers stopped Ezell?" retired LAPD officer Cheryl Dorsey said at Tuesday night's meeting.

    Ford, a 25-year-old mentally ill man, was shot and killed eight days ago by LAPD officers who say he ignored instructions and went for one of their guns.

    Abrego, 37, died in custody after a struggle with officers.

    "When your officers get out the car, have them look at the door. (It reads) 'to protect and to serve.' Not 'to kick some ass,'" a community member said. 

    "Maybe common sense can be used instead of a gun," said Minnie Hadley-Hempstead, tpresident of the Los Angeles branch of the NAACP.

    Beck urged the community to not pre-judge the officers involved until the investigation was complete.

    Marchers Rally After Shooting of Mentally Challenged South LA Man

    [LA] Marchers Rally After Shooting of Mentally Challenged South LA Man
    Hundreds of protesters gathered for a march in support of Ezell Ford, a mentally challenged black man who was shot and killed by Los Angeles police officers. Beverly White reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014. (Published Thursday, Aug 14, 2014)

    "Please work with me. If you know somebody who knows something, have them come forward," Beck told the crowd. "We will show people LA has a better way."

    "Every issue, every witness, every question is going to be answered,” Bustamante said at the meeting.

    Some questioned when the officer involved in the shooting death of Ford would be named. Beck said that he would release the name of the officer when he believed it was safe to do so.

    A march was also held Tuesday night for Ford and Abrego. It was also in support of Michael Brown, an unarmed teen shot to death by police in Ferguson, Missouri, where the killing has sparked days of unrest.

    Civil Rights Leaders to Challenge Investigation Into Shooting Death

    [LA] Civil Rights Leaders to Challenge Investigation Into Shooting Death
    Los Angeles civil rights leaders have promised to challenge the LAPD investigation into the shooting death of Ezell Ford "every step of the way." Beverly White reports for NBC4 News at 6 p.m. from South Los Angeles Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014. (Published Thursday, Aug 14, 2014)

    Mateo Melero and Samia Khan contributed to this report.

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