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Ezell Ford: Protesters gather at Eric Garcetti's house, call for action

Protesters gather outside Mayor Eric Garcetti's house, call for action over Ezell Ford shooting

Protesters descended upon Mayor Eric Garcetti's home early Sunday morning, calling for the mayor to take action over last summer's fatal shooting of Ezell Ford.

About a dozen people held pictures of the late 25-year-old as they stood on the sidewalk outside Getty House, the official mayoral residence in Windsor Square, and outlined their demands. The demonstrators, part of the Black Lives Matter movement, called on Garcetti to fire LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and hold a public forum to discuss the investigation into Ford's death.

If the mayor did not act, the protesters said, he would lose their votes.

"We are here this morning to stand for justice," Melina Abdullah said as she paced in front of the mayor's house. "We're demanding Eric Garcetti do something. Unless he removes this chief of police, we will remove him."

The demonstration comes two days after The Times reported that Beck and Alex Bustamate, the LAPD's independent watchdog, have determined that two officers were justified in shooting Ford, a mentally ill black man, in South L.A. 

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

Bustamante, however, faulted the officers for how they initially approached Ford.

Their recommendations will be considered by the Police Commission, the civilian board that oversees the LAPD and makes the final decision on uses of force. Commissioners will decide Tuesday whether the officers' actions were within department policy.

On Sunday, the demonstrators said they were prepared to stay outside Garcetti's house until Tuesday's meeting.

A spokeswoman for Garcetti said the mayor had no comment Sunday morning.

Cars slowed down to look at the small group as the demonstrators held hands and prayed. Some cried as they gave testimonials about Ford and other police killings of black men. Two LAPD officers stood nearby.

When people walked in and out of the mayor's front door, the group shouted through the wrought-iron fence, asking when Garcetti would return.

"Are we going to be able to see the mayor today?" said Patrisse Cullors, a co-founder of Black Lives Matter. "That's why we're out here."

"We're going to be here," Abdullah said.

Follow @katemather for more coverage of the Ezell Ford shooting.

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
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