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According to LAPD inspector general Alex Bustamante, officers Sharlton Wampler and Antonio Villegas were “justified” in the actions they took against Ezell Ford, a mentally ill black man who died from deadly police force in 2014.

LA Times reports:

Department investigators found evidence indicating that Ford had fought for control of one officer’s gun, bolstering claims the officers made after the shooting, said two sources who spoke on the condition that they not be identified because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the case.

Ford and one of the officers, Sharlton Wampler, had scratches on their hands, and the holster for Wampler’s gun was scratched as well, the sources said. Tests found Ford’s DNA on the weapon, according to the sources.

Officials never offered an exact explanation as to why Ford was stopped, but sources say investigators were told he was approached because he looked as though he was attempting to discard drugs while walking.

Bustamante concluded in his report to the Police Commission that it was unclear whether the officers’ observations were sufficient justification to approach Ford and then try to detain him, the sources said.

And as the officers reached Ford, Wampler put his hands on him — a move that Bustamante found unacceptable. Department protocols instruct officers in such situations to address a suspect from a position of safety, such as behind an open car door.

We will continue to keep you updated as new details emerge.


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