A 24-year-old man has died after being shot by police during an encounter in the Florence neighborhood of South Los Angeles, officials said Tuesday.
The incident began at 8:12 p.m. when officers responded to a report of a shooting at the intersection of West 65th Street and South Broadway, said Lt. Ellis Imaizumi of the Los Angeles Police Department.
Eight minutes later, at 8:20 p.m., the officers stopped a man who was walking in the 200 block of 65th, authorities said.
“A struggle ensued” and police opened fire, according to a statement from the Police Department.
The man was transported to a hospital where he underwent surgery, according to Officer Sara Faden, spokeswoman for the LAPD. He later succumbed to his injuries. No officers were hurt in the incident.
It is unknown if the suspect has any gang affiliations, police said.
A woman who said she was the deceased man’s mother identified him as Ezell Ford.
Tritobia Ford said her son was lying on the ground and complying with the officers’ commands when he was shot.
Yet another one…It’s always a “struggle.” And why bring it up if it’s unknown. They know exactly what they’re insinuating. Be fearful of black people and not the police… This is insanity.
EZELL FORD WAS UNARMED. This happened just two days after Mike Brown’s murder. (8/11)
UPDATE: It has been reported that Ezell Ford was mentally disabled.
An eyewitness to the killing, Leroy Hill, describes what happened: “He wasn’t a gang banger at all. I was sitting across the street when it happened. So as he was walking down the street, the police approached him, whatever was said I couldn’t hear it, but the cops jumped out of the car and rushed him over here into this corner. They had him in the corner and were beating him, busted him up, for what reason I don’t know but he didn’t do nothing. The next thing I know I hear a ‘pow!’ while he’s on the ground. They got the knee on him. And then I hear another ‘pow!’ No hesitation. And then I hear another ‘pow!’ Three times.”
At one point while the police had Ford on the ground, but before the shooting took place, Hill said, he heard an officer yell, “Shoot him.”
Unrest has rocked the suburb in the days following Brown’s death. At least four people, including two police officers, have been hurt and 47 arrested in the aftermath of the shooting.
On Wednesday morning in South LA, a group of about 10 young and middle-aged men gathered at a makeshift sidewalk memorial lined with candles and signs that read “Police brutality must stop.”
The men at the memorial near the sight of the shooting were visibly shaken by the events that had unfolded there Monday night. They expressed anger toward the LAPD. They said that Ford wasn’t a gang member at all — that he was a “good guy,” a local man who was born and raised in the neighborhood, one whom everyone knew and liked, who routinely played basketball and who also suffered from some form of mental illness.
While all of the men said Ford suffered from some mental illness, they couldn’t confirm what it was. One young neighbor, who requested to not be identified, said that while “he wasn’t all there, he was there enough to follow orders and know to stop when the police tell him to stop. He did nothing wrong.”
Another eyewitness told KTLA that Ford’s mental state was well-known in the neighborhood and to the police.
"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," the man said in an interview with the local network. "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." The young neighbor described the incident as "racial bullshit."
Are you kidding me
to khloekatz: You want to call me a “colorblind neoliberal motherfucker”? Fine, but just remember you’re doing what Saul Alinsky wants people like you to do: characterize anyone who doesn’t fall for identity politics as a “mean person”. How about you go after the people who actually make life harsher than it should be for you (i.e. the likes of Obama, Eric Holder, Al Sharpton)?
just in case you don’t happen to get my messages…. This response is to you and to any individuals who perceive what is written above as a personal attack against them (despite the fact that I obviously do not know any of you personally and thusly cannot be speaking directly to you): I didn’t call you anything. Please analyze your defensiveness to a general post on the Internet trying to bring attention to the fact that there are structural systems in place that see and recognize race while hordes of individuals keep loftily congratulating themselves for not doing so. I absolutely do not care about any sociological discourse on “identity politics” when there is a massive militarized police presence active in a city protesting for justice when being black got someone killed. I have not characterized individuals who claim not to see race as “mean people”. Their propensity for kindness or malice is all but irrelevant to me. They are ignorant, willfully and comfortably so. Plain and simple. Pretending not to see color/race/difference is to idealize a homogenous society where these differences do not impact multiple aspects of both individual and collective behaviors + mentalities. That fantasy world does not exist. This is the real world.
Iman Ahmed an 18 year old girl was killed today, the first anniversary of the Rabaa massacre, in Mattaryah, Egypt by police during anti-coup protests. Her fiancee was also killed a month earlier.
you tell em baby
|—||white people that have never had to fight for their humanity (via majiinboo)|
“Your name is Tasbeeh. Don’t let them call you by anything else.”
My mother speaks to me in Arabic; the command sounds more forceful in her mother tongue, a Libyan dialect that is all sharp edges and hard, guttural sounds. I am seven years old and it has never occurred to me to disobey my mother. Until twelve years old, I would believe God gave her the supernatural ability to tell when I’m lying.
“Don’t let them give you an English nickname,” my mother insists once again, “I didn’t raise amreekan.”
My mother spits out this last word with venom. Amreekan. Americans. It sounds like a curse coming out of her mouth. Eight years in this country and she’s still not convinced she lives here. She wears her headscarf tightly around her neck, wades across the school lawn in long, floor-skimming skirts. Eight years in this country and her tongue refuses to bend and soften for the English language. It embarrasses me, her heavy Arab tongue, wrapping itself so forcefully around the clumsy syllables of English, strangling them out of their meaning.
But she is fierce and fearless. I have never heard her apologize to anyone. She will hold up long grocery lines checking and double-checking the receipt in case they’re trying to cheat us. My humiliation is heavy enough for the both of us. My English is not. Sometimes I step away, so people don’t know we’re together but my dark hair and skin betray me as a member of her tribe.
On my first day of school, my mother presses a kiss to my cheek.
“Your name is Tasbeeh,” she says again, like I’ve forgotten. “Tasbeeh.”
Roll call is the worst part of my day. After a long list of Brittanys, Jonathans, Ashleys, and Yen-but-call-me-Jens, the teacher rests on my name in silence. She squints. She has never seen this combination of letters strung together in this order before. They are incomprehensible. What is this h doing at the end? Maybe it is a typo.
“Tasbeeh,” I mutter, with my hand half up in the air. “Tasbeeh.”
“Do you go by anything else?”
“No,” I say. “Just Tasbeeh. Tas-beeh.”
“Tazbee. All right. Alex?”
She moves on before I can correct her. She said it wrong. She said it so wrong. I have never heard my name said so ugly before, like it’s a burden. Her entire face contorts as she says it, like she is expelling a distasteful thing from her mouth. She avoids saying it for the rest of the day, but she has already baptized me with this new name. It is the name everyone knows me by, now, for the next six years I am in elementary school. “Tazbee,” a name with no grace, no meaning, no history; it belongs in no language.
“Tazbee,” says one of the students on the playground, later. “Like Tazmanian Devil?” Everyone laughs. I laugh too. It is funny, if you think about it.
I do not correct anyone for years. One day, in third grade, a plane flies above our school.
“Your dad up there, Bin Laden?” The voice comes from behind. It is dripping in derision.
“My name is Tazbee,” I say. I said it in this heavy English accent, so he may know who I am. I am American. But when I turn around they are gone.
I go to middle school far, far away. It is a 30-minute drive from our house. It’s a beautiful set of buildings located a few blocks off the beach. I have never in my life seen so many blond people, so many colored irises. This is a school full of Ashtons and Penelopes, Patricks and Sophias. Beautiful names that belong to beautiful faces. The kind of names that promise a lifetime of social triumph.
I am one of two headscarved girls at this new school. We are assigned the same gym class. We are the only ones in sweatpants and long-sleeved undershirts. We are both dreading roll call. When the gym teacher pauses at my name, I am already red with humiliation.
“How do I say your name?” she asks.
“Tazbee,” I say.
“Can I just call you Tess?”
I want to say yes. Call me Tess. But my mother will know, somehow. She will see it written in my eyes. God will whisper it in her ear. Her disappointment will overwhelm me.
“No,” I say, “Please call me Tazbee.”
I don’t hear her say it for the rest of the year.
My history teacher calls me Tashbah for the entire year. It does not matter how often I correct her, she reverts to that misshapen sneeze of a word. It is the ugliest conglomeration of sounds I have ever heard.
When my mother comes to parents’ night, she corrects her angrily, “Tasbeeh. Her name is Tasbeeh.” My history teacher grimaces. I want the world to swallow me up.
My college professors don’t even bother. I will only know them for a few months of the year. They smother my name in their mouths. It is a hindrance for their tongues. They hand me papers silently. One of them mumbles it unintelligibly whenever he calls on my hand. Another just calls me “T.”
My name is a burden. My name is a burden. My name is a burden. I am a burden.
On the radio I hear a story about a tribe in some remote, rural place that has no name for the color blue. They do not know what the color blue is. It has no name so it does not exist. It does not exist because it has no name.
At the start of a new semester, I walk into a math class. My teacher is blond and blue-eyed. I don’t remember his name. When he comes to mine on the roll call, he takes the requisite pause. I hold my breath.
“How do I pronounce your name?” he asks.
I say, “Just call me Tess.”
“Is that how it’s pronounced?”
I say, “No one’s ever been able to pronounce it.”
“That’s probably because they didn’t want to try,” he said. “What is your name?”
When I say my name, it feels like redemption. I have never said it this way before. Tasbeeh. He repeats it back to me several times until he’s got it. It is difficult for his American tongue. His has none of the strength, none of the force of my mother’s. But he gets it, eventually, and it sounds beautiful. I have never heard it sound so beautiful. I have never felt so deserving of a name. My name feels like a crown.
“Thank you for my name, mama.”
When the barista asks me my name, sharpie poised above the coffee cup, I tell him: “My name is Tasbeeh. It’s a tough t clinging to a soft a, which melts into a silky ssss, which loosely hugs the b, and the rest of my name is a hard whisper — eeh. Tasbeeh. My name is Tasbeeh. Hold it in your mouth until it becomes a prayer. My name is a valuable undertaking. My name requires your rapt attention. Say my name in one swift note – Tasbeeeeeeeh – sand let the h heat your throat like cinnamon. Tasbeeh. My name is an endeavor. My name is a song. Tasbeeh. It means giving glory to God. Tasbeeh. Wrap your tongue around my name, unravel it with the music of your voice, and give God what he is due