Saturday, August 30, 2014

Ezell Ford, 25, Unarmed and Killed by the LAPD - Is Our Society Devolving?

Ezell Ford, 25, killed on August 11th
Is being an unarmed black man grounds for immediate execution without even being charged or arrested? It's starting to look like there are a lot of police officers in America who think that way.

An article published last Sunday on the DailyKos Website suggests that local and state police as well as Federal authorities including the FBI intentionally do NOT track and analyze statistics on how often police shoot and kill unarmed black Americans.

Think about that for a moment. Take a few minutes to click the link above and read the article, it's pretty disturbing.

Ezell Ford's death on August 11th at the hands of LAPD gang enforcement officers Sharlton Wampler and Antonio Villegas fits right into a trend that's been far too common this summer.

The 25-year-old African-American citizen was walking along a street, was confronted by police, exchanged words, and was beaten before being shot and killed; he was unarmed at the time.

His death is further complicated by the fact that he was mentally ill.

To make matters even worse for his family, friends and the outraged members of the South Los Angeles community where he lived, the LAPD held off releasing the names of Wampler and Villegas for over two weeks while the department conducted what they termed a "threat assessment" to determine that the two veteran police officer's lives would not be endangered.

Which is interesting considering that (according to eye witness testimony) the two officers initiated the confrontation, exited their patrol car, chased Ford into a corner area, then savagely beat him before shooting him multiple times while he was laying on the ground.

Too bad the two officers didn't stop and conduct a "threat assessment" before they got out of their vehicle, beat then shot and killed this young man; he might still be alive if they'd bothered to do so.

According to an article on by Nicole Flatow, members of Ford's family say that local LAPD officers knew he was mentally ill; and they insist that because of his mental illness he was a loner who had absolutely nothing to do with gangs.

So why was he killed? And what about the autopsy results of his death? According to Flatow, the LA Times reports that:

"Police have also placed a security hold on Ford’s autopsy to prevent coroner’s officials from publicly releasing information about Ford’s wounds,”

A "security hold" on the truth? Did Ezell Ford's death impact national security?

Remember the death of Ford came just a week after LAPD officers stopped 37 year-old  Omar Abrego for driving erratically in the same area of South Los Angeles. When Abrego jumped out of the car and fled on foot, officers caught him but according to police reports Abrego managed to suffer a "laceration" while in custody inside the police car. According to the LA Times, Abrego had a severe concussion and multiple facial and body contusions - so essentially he was beaten to death for erratic driving and trying to evade capture.

The callousness and rapidity with which some police officers around this nation seem to resort to deadly force when confronting black and Hispanic men is deeply disturbing. As if the mere sight of dark skin on a male body triggers some kind of internal fear-attack reaction that instantly renders the concept of innocent until proven guilty meaningless in the minds of some police officers.

It's interesting that if Jihadists or people the United States labels "Muslim extremists" stop innocent people on the streets of countries thousands of miles away and execute them with guns, our politicians profess moral outrage and demand we spend billions of dollars to ship American servicemen and women overseas with American equipment and arms to kill in the name of restoring "Democracy" and "the rule of law".

But right here on the streets of our own country in places like Ferguson, Missouri or Staten Island, New York, or Los Angeles, California we've got police officers doing the same thing - and they call it law enforcement.

In the case of Ezell Ford, Michael Brown or Eric Garner, the podiums on the Senate or House floor are strangely silent. Maybe the moral outrage just depends on who you're killing.

Is that an indicator of an evolved society?

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