The Los Angeles Police Department has until this Wednesday to release Ezell Ford’s (pictured below) autopsy results, the L.A. Times reports.
L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti imposed the deadline on the department in November, responding to their delay in releasing the report.
The department’s hesitance to release the results caused tensions between locals and law enforcement to simmer. If produced, the results would come days after two gunman opened fire with a rifle on officers in an LAPD squad car. Nobody was injured in the incident and one person was arrested at the scene.
A spokesperson for the department said police shooting investigations typically take seven to eight months. The PD has also claimed that releasing Ford’s information would compromise the case.
However, a chief of investigations at the city’s coroner’s office says holding autopsy information for months is unusual. Most results are released within weeks, he added.
Community activists held a press conference Sunday discussing the impending results.
“We want to put the pressure on the LAPD,” said activist and renowned media critic Earl Ofari Hutchinson. “To remind them that we’re here. We must hold feet to the fire and hope the right thing is done.”
Hutchinson also added that the report needs to be given to higher authorities if it contradicts departmental claims.
“We want to make sure that this is an autopsy report without opinion, and if the report shows a discrepancy in how officers explain Ford was killed, then it has to be turned over to L.A. County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey for possible prosecution of these officers.”
The 25-year-old Ford was walking down a L.A. street on August 11th when two officers in a patrol car stopped him. According to the police department, Ford allegedly “continued walking and made suspicious movements, including attempting to conceal his hands.” s
When one of the officers attempted to stop Ford, he allegedly tackled him to the ground and tried wrestling his gun away, officials claim. At this point, the other officer began opening fire on Ford, and the officer on the ground followed suit.
Officers transported Ford to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
But a family friend who witnessed the shooting claims Ford didn’t struggle with officers at all. Neighbors also began yelling at officers that Ford, who was diagnosed with depression and schizophremia. was mentally ill.
“They laid him out and for whatever reason, they shot him in the back, knowing mentally, he has complications. Every officer in this area, from the Newton Division, knows that — that this child has mental problems,” a man who said he is Ford’s cousin, told KTLA 5 soon after the incident.