Hundreds Protest After Fatal Shooting of Man by LAPD

Ford was unarmed and was complying with officers’ orders, family members said.

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    Protesters marched in downtown Los Angeles over the fatal police shooting of a 25-year-old black man, who family members said was mentally challenged. Kim Baldonado reports from downtown Los Angeles for the NBC4 News at 6 on Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014. (Published Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014)

    Hundreds of protesters rallied Sunday outside Los Angeles Police Department headquarters before marching through the streets of downtown over the fatal police shooting of a 25-year-old black man.

    Ezell Ford, who family members said was mentally challenged, was shot at around 8:12 p.m. on Aug. 11 after being stopped for questioning in the Florence district of South L.A., authorities said.

    "I want the police to come talk to my auntie and uncle and my family and let them know what happened and what's going on, and what's going on with the investigation, and I want a change, we need a change,” said Ford’s cousin.

    The demonstrators chanted “Hands up, don’t shoot,” which has also become a rallying chant in Ferguson, Missouri where people are protesting the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager by police.

    The Police Protective Union, which represents LAPD officers, issued a statement asking people not to rush to judgement until the investigation is complete.

    The LAPD said in a press release that when two officers approached Ford a struggle ensued.

    During the struggle, they fell to the ground and Ford attempted to remove the officer's handgun from its holster, officials said. Both officers fired their handguns at the individual, officials with the LAPD said.

    After being shot, Ford was taken to a local hospital where he died of his injuries, officials said.

    Earl Ofari Hutchinson, the president of the Los Angeles Urban Roundtable, said conflicting accounts of the shooting have emerged.

    "(Witnesses) said Ford was not resisting, that he had mental challenges, and that police officers in the area were well aware of him and his condition," he said.

    Ford was unarmed and was complying with officers’ orders, family members said.

    Dozens of people marched in support of Ford on Friday in South L.A. including members of his family.

    At a meeting with LAPD Assistant Chief Earl Paysinger, Hutchinson said he urged a quick thorough and transparent investigation into the incident.

    Organizers said the rally is also to protest the fatal shooting by police of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown, whose death has spurned nationwide protests including violent clashes in Ferguson, Missouri.  

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