Ezell Ford Shooting Leaves Unanswered Questions, Frustration in South L.A.

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A flier with a picture of Ezell Ford hangs on a light post outside Paradise Baptist Church in South Los Angeles. Ford, 25, was fatally shot by two LAPD officers in August, but his autopsy results have not yet been released to the public. (Credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Three months after police fatally shot a mentally ill man in South Los Angeles, key questions remain about what led to the controversial shooting and exactly how the 25-year-old was killed.

Los Angeles Police Department officials have yet to allow the county coroner’s office to publicly release the results of an autopsy on Ezell Ford Jr. following his Aug. 11 death, and have not explained why gang officers approached Ford before the shooting.

Some South L.A. residents say they are frustrated by how little information has been disclosed and accuse the department of failing to make good on Chief Charlie Beck’s promise of transparency after the killing. Last month, the South Central Neighborhood Council unanimously passed a resolution urging Councilman Curren Price to direct the LAPD to release Ford’s autopsy report.

“Every day that goes by where the secrecy is maintained just increases the frustration,” said Cliff Smith, a member of the nine-person Neighborhood Council who introduced the resolution. “There’s no way to resolve this except to be transparent. And the police have been the opposite of transparent.”

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