Ezell Ford: Unarmed Black Male Shot, Killed by Police and LAPD Blamed; Michael Brown Comparisons Emerge

Ezell Ford, described as an unarmed black male, became the topic of discussion on social media websites after he was shot and killed by police in South Los Angeles this week.

KTLA TV reported that family members said Ford, 25, was complying with police when he was shot by LAPD officers.

Patrol officers said they were doing “an investigative stop” around the 200 block of 65th Street. During that, time they said “a struggle ensued” and police opened fire.

Ford reportedly died of his injuries at the hospital later.

A police news release said that no officers were injured in the incident.

“My heart is so heavy,” Tritobia Ford, described by the station as mother, told the station. “My son was a good kid. He didn’t deserve to die the way he did.”

Over the past few days, a number of people on social media sites were comparing his death to that of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Brown was shot and killed by an officer on Saturday night, prompting protests and riots.

A man who claims to be a cousin of Ford told USA Today that he had “mental problems” and “complications

The report comes as a Democratic congressman plans to introduce a bill to restrict a Defense Department program that provides machine guns and other surplus military equipment for free to local law enforcement agencies across the country.

Rep. Hank Johnson, D-Ga., said the legislation is in response to the death of an unarmed teenager who was shot by a police officer in a St. Louis suburb. The bill comes as members of Congress have called for the Justice Department to investigate the shooting of a black teen by a white police officer in Ferguson, Mo.

Police in riot gear and military garb have clashed nightly with protesters since Aug. 9 shooting of Michael Brown and at times have trained weapons on them from armored trucks.

Johnson said city streets should be a place for businesses and families, “not tanks and M16s.” He said a Pentagon program that transfers surplus military equipment to state and local law enforcement has led to police agencies resembling paramilitary forces.

“Militarizing America’s main streets won’t make us any safer, just more fearful and more reticent,” Johnson said. He said his bill would limit the type of military equipment that can be transferred to law enforcement, and require states to certify they can account for all equipment received.

The bill targets a 24-year-old military surplus program that transfers equipment from blankets to bayonets and tanks to police and sheriff’s departments across the country. An Associated Press investigation last year of the Defense Department program found that a large share of the $4.2 billion in surplus military gear distributed since 1990 went to police and sheriff’s departments in rural areas with few officers and little crime.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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