One Los Angeles police officer involved in the fatal shooting of Ezell Ford in South Los Angeles violated department policy, but the other was justified in firing his weapon, the city Police Commission decided Tuesday.
The decision came during a heated Police Commission meeting at which protesters sang and chanted, demanding action against two Los Angeles police officers and the police chief.
Mayor Eric Garcetti expressed mixed emotions during a press conference after the announcement by the Police Commission.
“My heart goes out to the Ford family for the loss of Ezell,” he said. “We have a system that can work. Every life matters, but due process matters as well. Nobody is above the law. Everyone can make mistakes.
“The system worked the way it was supposed to. We feel for the Ford family.”
Ford, 25, was fatally shot by police Aug. 11 near 65th Street and Broadway. Police said the officers approached Ford, who lunged at one of them and began grabbing for his weapon.
When it came to the actual shooting, the commission decided unanimously that one officer violated department policy, while the other did not, commission president Steve Soboroff said.
“This is a tragedy for all involved, the family, relatives, loved ones and friends of Mr. Ford, as well as the involved police officers,” Soboroff said. “To the Ford family, my fellow Police Commissioners and I extend our sincere sympathies for your profound loss.”
The commission did not specify which officer was found to have violated policy. The officers involved in the shooting were previously identified as Sharlton Wampler and Antonio Villegas.
Beck will now decide what discipline the one officer will face.