Crime & Justice

Ezell Ford protest briefly shuts LA Police Commission meeting

A portrait of Ezell Ford, killed by LAPD officers in August near this spot, is on the wall of a market at 65th Street and Broadway in South Los Angeles
A portrait of Ezell Ford, killed by LAPD officers in August near this spot, is on the wall of a market at 65th Street and Broadway in South Los Angeles
Sharon McNary/KPCC

A loud protest by Black Lives Matter inside a meeting of the Los Angeles Police Commission Tuesday prompted the LAPD to declare an unlawful assembly and shut the meeting down.
 
Protestors drowned out commissioners with chants of "Ezell Ford" and "Black lives matter." 

Video: Ezell Ford protest

The meeting, which was held inside police headquarters, resumed a few minutes later, according to police.
 
Tuesday's protest coincided with the one-year anniversary of the LAPD’s fatal shooting of 25-year-old Ezell Ford in South L.A. 

Ford, an unarmed black man whose family said had mental health issues was shot by officers after they said he grabbed one of their guns during a struggle. 

The shooting occurred two days after the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and became a touchstone in L.A. for the national debate about the killing of unarmed African American men by police.

In June, the police commission ruled officers lacked good reason to try to stop Ford, finding that Officer Sharlton Wampler lacked reasonable suspicion to detain Ford, and that the officer created the situation that led to a struggle with Ford.

The decision drew angry criticism from the union that represent rank and file LAPD officers. The Los Angeles Police Protective League called the decision "politically motivated" and designed to prevent unrest in the streets.

Chief Charlie Beck, who has said the shooting was justified, must now decide how to discipline the officers, one of whom the commission found acted out of policy.

In addition, LA District Attorney Jackie Lacey must decide whether to file criminal charges against the officers. 

The Ford family has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the LAPD and City of Los Angeles, claiming officers acted negligently.

This story has been updated.