Commission faults LA police officer in fatal shooting of mentally ill man – USA TODAY
A Los Angeles Police Commission has found fault with one of two officers involved in last summer’s shooting death of Ezell Ford, a mentally disabled man.
“The recommendation of the Inspector General as it relates to Tactics, was one officer out of policy and one officer in policy,” according to the statement by Steve Soboroff, police commission president.
The commission faulted the cited officer for tactics, drawing of the weapon and non-lethal use of force, according to Soboroff’s statement.
Ford, 25, was shot dead Aug. 11, 2014. His case did not grab the same headlines as other cases, perhaps because of timing. It unfolded as the nation watched crowds protest the death of Michael Brown through the streets of Ferguson, Mo., and followed details in the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island, N.Y., man who died after police administered a chokehold.
The investigation was handled by the Los Angeles Police Department Investigation Division.
It is now up to the Los Angeles County District Attorney to decide if the case goes further, Soboroff said.
Soboroff did not identify the officer found at fault, but police department records show it was Sharlton Wampler, a 13-year veteran of the force, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Wampler and Antonio Villegas approached Ford as he walked along the sidewalk and a scuffle ensued before Ford was shot and killed. Ford suffered from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.
“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.