One of the Los Angeles Police Officers Who Murdered Ezell Ford Has a History of Terrorizing Communities
Very detailed and well written. Thanks so much for keeping us informed.
If you read nothing else this week, please make sure to read this.
Lavell Ford (blue shirt, center), Ezell Ford’s brother, stands among community residents calling for Justice.
LAPD Newton Division’s “Gang Enforcement Detail” Officers Sharlton K. Wampler and Antonio Villegas are the cops responsible for shooting Ezell Ford to death in South Los Angeles last month, according to a press release from the Los Angeles Police Department. The release of the names comes a full two weeks after the two cops shot and killed the unarmed 25 year-old in his own neighborhood as he laid on the ground on August 11, even as he complied with the officers’ demands. Much like Darren Wilson – the Ferguson cop who murdered Michael Brown (another unarmed young Black man gunned down by cops in his own neighborhood) – Wampler and Villegas were likely given the chance to flee and go into hiding. Also like Wilson, both officers are now on paid vacation.
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Posted on 09/14/2014, in Cases, Cops Gone Wild, Ezell Ford and tagged Antonio Villegas, cameras on cops, Ezell Ford, Los Angles, racism, Sharlton K. Wampler. Bookmark the permalink. 23 Comments.
how many more?
You know, Mindy, I am just sitting here after reading the extended article, and I am pondering just what is it that we can say, demand, and suggest that REALLY will stop police abuse and brutality.
We are seeing heinous acts committed by LE simply continue in our country despite all the protests across the U.S.
What pressure can citizens put on police chiefs, legislators, and governors that REALLY will make them sit up and take the proper action to remedy the problem of police officers going wild? How do we hold accountable those in control who have the power to bring about change?
What more can be done other than bring lawsuits and voting people out of office? I think citizens need somehow to be given some sort of legal power that allows them control in the IMMEDIATE aftermath of these LE criminal acts.
Yahtzee, In your link (made several days ago) to the way the Las Vegas PD is dealing with the problem was two things that stood out very well, the most effective is their new “No Hands On” policy which makes quite a bit of sense. The point that struck me as being difficult to implement and enforce however, is the training about “Implicit Bias”, is it possible to train “bias” out of a person? I would think that implicit bias would work quite well, but only several generation after we as a nation started to enforce it at home.. IMO, the only way to make any true progress will be to have a citizen review board over see the PD in every town, city, county and state. Only after the police agencies become accountable to the people they serve will any real change occur.
Thanks for you weighing in, crustyolemothman.
Wish a citizen review board could conduct its own investigation with full access to the evidence and with subpoena power at the SAME time the PD does it.
Here is an worthwhile article which I was just reading:
“Cops’ deadly identity problem: How police officers’ military uniforms affect their mental state:
New scientific research suggests the effect of militarized dress on cops is more profound than imagined. Here’s why”
My comment about the citizen review board is only referring to reviewing police actions.
“Wish a citizen review board could conduct its own investigation with full access to the evidence and with subpoena power at the SAME time the PD does it”
Any less than that would not ensure that the PD is held fully accountable to the public. However, are you sure that this same review board should not serve as first step in a pre charge manner as well? Perhaps all felony cases should be first looked at by this review board as a check and balance to the prosecutors office as well? Along with a police agency problem in this nation we also have a terrible imbalance of authority contained in the prosecutors office. IMO the prosecutors office holding the option of charging or not charging at their whim is a major reason so many less financially endowed members of our society are in prison…
Amen to that!
I agree. I feel like the balance of power should change somehow, or even as Malcolm X suggested way back in the day, that decisions involving race in America, police brutality, mass incarceration, etc. should be put under the jurisdiction of the United Nations and be taken out of the hands of the U.S. government(s). This country has had half-a-century since Malcolm X made this suggestion to prove that America is capable of being fair and just to its nonwhite citizens. America has failed that test.
Is this reaching the point of being an epidemic? Here is another life gone way too soon. Was race the reason this young man is dead?
Hmmm, wonder why I feel like the invisible man?
You’re not invisible. 🙂 Sorry that I just now came online. Flash crashes and that requires that I reboot. I should be caught up pretty soon.
It is an epidemic indeed. Many times this has been happening over the years and very little coverage was given. Either there has been a spike in police murders or, as I think is more likely, the news media is giving these cases a little more coverage now.
I think that it’s both. After the cops who killed Kelly Thomas were acquitted, I think that it opened the eyes of the media and of citizens.
In 1992, we had the trial of the cops who beat Rodney King within an inch of his life. The media disparaged King. The cops were acquitted. There was a riot.
In 2014, the cops that beat Kelly Thomas were acquitted. Thomas was mentally ill and homeless.
In 2013, in Maryland, Ethan Saylor, who was Dow Syndrome, was placed in choke hold by sheriff deputies. His larynx was broken. He died. A grand jury did not indict the 3 deputy sheriffs.
In 2014 in New York, Eric Garner was placed in a choke hold by cops. He died. It’s still pending as to whether the cop will be charged.
These men were of different races, but the same “precedent” was established, which is as long as juries and/or grand juries are made to believe that those victimized are a burden to American society, they let the cops walk. Their families are faced with filing civil actions for redress, but it’s not money that Americans need — it’s getting rogue members of LE off the street.
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Great point! I think the system believes that the longer it refuses to hold police to account for their crimes, the public will eventually become so numb and used to it that it will become the norm. And while unfortunately it is the norm now, it’s impossible to completely numb all of us. It’s hard to predict where and when things are going to set off and the public demand “we’re not going to take it anymore.” For example, I think in Ferguson the police were a bit taken about by the immensity of the backlash to the slaying of Mike Brown after the officer was allowed to flee town. They were so used to killing and covering it up that they thought no one would be particularly concerned. They were wrong.
You would have thought the name Rodney King would have tempered this cowboys in LA… I guess not…
Maybe if the cops that beat King within an inch of his life were found guilty, but they were acquitted. I think one or two were prosecuted in the federal system for violating King’s civil rights.
Sarah Kendzior @sarahkendzior · Sep 13
U.S. citizens have the shortest paid vacations in the world, unless you’re Darren Wilson and you get five weeks off after killing a teenager
St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney, Robert P. McCulloch is Vice President of an organization that is collecting donations for Darren Wilson.
That is just SO WRONG………on so many levels!
“Ferguson tragedy becoming a farce”
Oh yeah. He definitely doesn’t have a conflict of interst at all… And to think the people of Ferguson thought he couldn’t be a fair prosecutor. [sarcasm of course]
On another note it’s funny how we hear all these ppl talking about “if they just would have voted more…” But the Governor Jay Nixon is a Democrat and is supposed to be the better choice, but it’s hard to see how a Republican could’ve been a whole lot worse than that Jay Nixon scumbag who thinks McCullogh is such a fair and impartial prosecutor in this case. The GOP and Dems have a love-hate relationship, and when it comes to delivering justice to ppl who aren’t oligarchs, the parties are in bed with each other.
“Ferguson and the Dilemma of Black Journalists”
Black journalists see the unseen and put a mic to the unheard. They have the power to not only report the ramifications but to enact the preventative through awareness. Objectivity is still at their core and racial comprehension in their toolbox. That insight goes beyond being the other half of a CNN double-screen commentating on the killing of another black youth. Unfortunately, they are the only ones that offer this kind of insight. Diversity, alone, is no longer enough.
“I don’t think we need to put that responsibility just on black journalists,” said Turner. “We need to have other people in the newsroom saying ‘let’s revisit this.
Turner feels we need to change how we train journalists. All must be able to have this insight regardless of skin color but that will only happen with a dramatic change in how we discuss race in this country.
The same treatment that should be applied to journalism is applicable to race relations in America. As long as black journalists are the only ones thinking to take a closer look there will be no improvement. As long as people of color are the only ones talking about race there will be no progress.
America has never been a melting pot but a boiling one. These issues have been bubbling up underneath the flaking crust of a “post-race” veneer. It’s just that only some of us have the privilege of remaining totally oblivious to them and others are served the bitter slices of American pie.
Overt dialogue on what is occurring in our subconscious when it comes to race is vital and is quite literally a matter of life and death. Until individuals can see the link between prejudicial apps like SketchFactor and why Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin and John Crawford were deemed threats there will never be justice. There will never be peace.
Until we can ask ourselves why Americans are more likely to encourage harsher prison regulations when the incarcerated black population is seemingly larger, there will never be justice and there will never be peace.
When we can confess and examine the fact that we are more inclined to shoot a black person in an online video shooter game, there will never be justice. There will never be peace.
The pot is bubbling and one day it will boil over. It is unfortunate that it took the death of a young man, to uncover it.