Protesters gathered in front of L.A. County District Attorney Jackie Lacey's office Thursday afternoon to demand the office press criminal charges against the LAPD officers involved in the deadly shooting of Ezell Ford. Ford was an unarmed mentally ill black man shot and killed by officers near his South L.A. home in 2014.
The protest was led by the Coalition for Community Control over the Police, which formed in 2005 in response to an officer-involved shooting of a 13-year-old boy. The coalition is critical of the DA's two-year, ongoing investigation to determine if officers should be charged, organizer Jubilee Shine told KPCC. He said the L.A. Police Commission's ruling that the shooting was out of policy should be enough to press charges.
"There needs to be an equal standard of justice. If anybody else in the community had killed Ezell Ford without a legitimate reason, they would be prosecuted and made to stand on trial for the killing," Shine said.
The District Attorney's Office released a statement in response to the protest which said they are doing what needs to be done to complete a fair and thorough investigation.
According to the statement, the office filed a motion in January to intervene in the federal lawsuit against the city of L.A. to secure witness statements. The motion was granted on May 24 and they are currently reviewing the documents.
“In an effort to conduct a complete and thorough review of this case, we fought to gain access to witness statements that we believe could shed additional light on this incident,” District Attorney Jackie Lacey said. “That legal battle took almost six months but the documents received are vital to our legal analysis. We must evaluate every witness account so that we may reach a fair result for all of the parties involved.”