Activists gathered Monday night at 65th Street and Broadway, the site where Ezell Ford, a 25-year-old man who was described by family members as mentally ill, was killed by two LAPD officers on Aug. 11.
What began as a peaceful remembrance alongside a make-shift memorial for Ford later turned confrontational when some of the demonstrators threatened members of the media covering the vigil.
One of the protesters shoved a lighter in the face of a KTLA photographer and threatened to set him on fire if he didn’t stop videotaping the vigil.
Earlier Monday, activists were called to Los Angeles Police Department headquarters downtown at 3 p.m. in an “emergency call to action” posted by Los Angeles People’s Media on Facebook.
“Hands Up 4 Justice” was scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. in Leimert Park, according to the advocacy group National Action Network Los Angeles.
Scheduled for four days after the release of a “Selma,” film about Martin Luther King Jr.’s Alabama protests for African-Americans’ voting rights, the march and rally in Leimert Park was advertised on a flier featuring an image of the iconic civil rights leader with his hands up. The flier also referred to Ezell Ford.
Complete Coverage: Ezell Ford Shooting
A long-delayed autopsy report on Ford’s death was released Monday. In November, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said he had ordered the report released before the end of the year.
Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck at that time said the report was being withheld while investigators sought out witnesses to the shooting.
The autopsy report release came in the wake of what police called an “unprovoked attack” on two LAPD officers Sunday night. The two officers were fired upon in South L.A. fewer than 10 blocks from where Ford was shot.
The incident, which did not injure either officer, prompted a SWAT search and citywide tactical alert.
One person was taken into custody and the search for a second person was called off after several hours.