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More police shootings nationwide

Cyril Josh Barker | 8/14/2014, 10:48 a.m.
As the nation comes to terms with the fatal Aug. 9 police shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown, more police ...
NYPD Photo by Bill Moore

As the nation comes to terms with the fatal Aug. 9 police shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown, more police shootings have taken place.

Since the police shooting death of Brown Aug. 9, nearly 20 fatal police shootings have occurred nationwide. Incidents range from victims who were armed to many who were not.

In the Newton section of Los Angeles, an unarmed Black man was shot Monday by the LAPD. Ezell Ford, 24, was shot three times by police after they performed an investigative stop. According to a press release by the LAPD, a struggle ensued between Ford and the officers, which resulted in the shooting. Ford was transported to an area hospital, where he later succumbed to his injuries. The LAPD says they are investigating the shooting.

“The investigation will ultimately be reviewed by the chief of police, the office of the inspector general and board of police commissioners for compliance with the department’s use-of-force policy, which states that an officer’s use-of-force actions must be objectively reasonable,” the department said in a press release. “Additionally, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s Justice System Integrity Division will conduct a comprehensive review of the facts of the officer-involved shooting.”

Although the LAPD has not officially named Ford as the victim, family members, including his mother and cousin, have identified him to news outlets. Tritobia Ford, mother of the victim, said her son complied with officers and was shot while he was lying on the ground.

Ford’s cousin also said the police account is inaccurate. “They laid him out and for whatever reason, they shot him in the back, knowing mentally, he has complications,” the cousin said, speaking to local news in Los Angeles. “Every officer in this area, from the Newton Division, knows that—that this child has mental problems. The excessive force … there was no purpose for it. The multiple shootings in the back while he’s laying down? No. Then when the mom comes, they don’t try to console her. They pull the billy clubs out.”

In Dallas, Texas, outrage over the shooting death of unarmed 26-year-old Andrew Scott Gaynier at the hands of an off-duty police officer Sunday has residents outraged. Gaynier was shot after police responded to a call of a man making lewd comments to women. The off-duty officer working neighborhood watch reportedly followed Gaynier, who police say tried to get into a car with a family inside. The officer commanded Gaynier to move away from the vehicle. Police say Gaynier then rushed the officer, who opened fire, shooting Gaynier multiple times, killing him.

The Dallas Police Department is not releasing a video of the incident caught by a nearby surveillance camera. Gaynier was the father of a 19-month-old son. “Andy was unarmed and shot multiple times by a police officer,” an attorney for Gaynier’s family said in a statement. “This tragic situation is beyond comprehension. At this point, we are waiting for the Dallas Police Department to conclude their investigation.”

Ferguson, Mo., remains on the radar as reports of another Black man, whose name has not been released, shot by police came out Wednesday. Officers say, however, he was armed and pointed a handgun at them.

Reports indicate that officers responded to shots being fired in an area where protesters have been demonstrating about Brown’s killing. Police officials say officers were responding to a call about four to five men wearing ski masks and seen carrying shotguns, as reported by a 911 caller. Officers, however, said they did not see anyone with shotguns.

An officer fired multiple times at one of the men, who officers approached after the man pulled out a handgun. The man remains in the hospital in critical condition. A gun was recovered from the scene by officers.

At least 600 people have been killed by police in the U.S. in 2014.