The Los Angeles Police Department released an autopsy on Monday revealing that a mentally ill black man killed by LAPD officers in August was shot three times, including once in the back, according to television station KABC.
The autopsy stated that the shot to Ezell Ford’s back and another to his abdomen were fatal, according to the TV station. The wound on his back revealed a muzzle imprint from the gun, suggesting the shot was fired at close range, the station reported.
Several witnesses said Ford was face down on the ground when he was shot, the station reported. But police said he was killed while resisting arrest and had “grabbed the officer’s handgun and attempted to remove the gun from its holster.”
“The officer yelled out to his partner that Mr. Ford had his gun. The officer’s partner then fired two rounds striking Mr. Ford,” the LAPD said in a statement, as quoted by KABC. “At about the same time, the officer on the ground while on his back grabbed his backup weapon, reached around Mr. Ford and fired one shot at close range striking Mr. Ford in the back.”
The Ford family’s lawyer called it an execution.
“I dare say that this is criminal, I think they executed this poor young man, mentally incompetent man,” said attorney Steven Lerman, according to the news station.
Ed. note: This post has been updated to clarify that there is a dispute about whether Ford had grabbed the officer’s gun.