The Los Angeles Police Department has just cleared two police officers in the shooting death of an unarmed African American man, described by his family as “mentally challenged.”
The slaying of Ezell Ford, 25, sparked protests over police brutality and murder, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck along with the department’s independent watchdog said that the officers in this case were “justified in the shooting,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
Department investigators said that they “found evidence indicating Ford had struggled” for one of the officer’s firearms.
Ford’s mother claims that he was laying on the ground at the time the police shot.
Another witness, said to be Ford’s cousin said that he was around the corner and saw him shot after the officers had already laid him on the ground on his back.
“Every officer in this area, from the Newton Division, knows that — that this child has mental problems,” the witness told local KTLA.
Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman Jane Kim would only say that they will not comment on this case or decision.
The family attorneys for the Ford’s described Ezell as mentally challenged.
Ford’s death was overshadowed in the media, as it came only two days after the fatal police shooting of unarmed African American teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.