The LAPD has identified Sharlton Wampler and Antonio Villegas as the officers who killed Ezell Ford, 25, an African-American man, on Aug. 11 in South Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Local residents' complaints led to the department's decision to release the names. The LAPD held off on the immediate release to assure that the officers' safety would not be threatened. They are both assigned to their homes.
Their attorney has said that the officers "feel horrible" and that a conclusion should not be made about their actions until a thorough investigation is completed. "The investigation will show that the officers acted appropriately and they used the level of force that was warranted," attorney Larry Hanna said to the Los Angeles Times.
According to a news release by the LAPD, a struggle between Ford and patrol officers occurred during an “investigative stop” in the Florence neighborhood of South Los Angeles. The statement reports that the struggle “resulted in an officer-involved-shooting.”
Ford, who was described as mentally ill, was reportedly brought to a local hospital where he died.
The family’s attorney told MSNBC that Ford was not armed at the time of his death.
"He was mentally challenged,” Lerman said. "This is not the person that's lurking behind a corner with a gun. He's not a gangbanger. Walking down a city street, a citizen of Los Angeles, walking down a city street unarmed at 8:00 on a Monday night."
The shooting of Ford came just days after the death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. The unarmed teen was also fatally shot by local police, inciting unrest that has continued to rock the suburb outside of St. Louis and draw national attention.
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(Photo: KTLA News)
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