FREE e-Newsletter
Important News - Hot Topics
Get them Now!
Randy Sutton

Randy Sutton

Randy Sutton is a 33-year law enforcement veteran, a trainer, and the national spokesman for The American Council on Public Safety. He served 10 years with the Princeton (N.J.) Police Department and 23 years with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, retiring at the rank of lieutenant. He is an author who has published multiple books on law enforcement.
May 2017 (1)
April 2017 (1)
January 2017 (1)
November 2016 (1)
September 2016 (1)
June 2016 (2)
May 2016 (3)
April 2016 (2)
March 2016 (1)
February 2016 (3)
January 2016 (1)
December 2015 (1)
November 2015 (5)
October 2015 (1)
September 2015 (3)
August 2015 (3)
July 2015 (6)
June 2015 (3)
May 2015 (2)
April 2015 (3)
March 2015 (5)
February 2015 (1)
January 2015 (1)
December 2014 (9)
October 2014 (2)
September 2014 (2)
August 2014 (2)
July 2014 (1)
June 2014 (2)
May 2014 (2)
April 2014 (4)
March 2014 (2)
February 2014 (3)
January 2014 (3)
December 2013 (2)
November 2013 (2)
October 2013 (3)
September 2013 (5)
August 2013 (3)
July 2013 (3)
June 2013 (3)
May 2013 (4)
April 2013 (3)
March 2013 (5)
February 2013 (3)
January 2013 (3)
December 2012 (5)
November 2012 (2)
October 2012 (4)
September 2012 (2)
August 2012 (5)
July 2012 (4)
June 2012 (3)
May 2012 (5)
April 2012 (6)
March 2012 (5)
February 2012 (3)
January 2012 (5)
December 2011 (5)
November 2011 (3)
October 2011 (3)
September 2011 (3)
August 2011 (2)
July 2011 (2)
June 2011 (3)
May 2011 (4)
April 2011 (3)
March 2011 (5)
February 2011 (3)
January 2011 (3)
December 2010 (2)
November 2010 (4)
October 2010 (4)
September 2010 (5)
August 2010 (4)
July 2010 (4)
June 2010 (4)
May 2010 (4)
April 2010 (3)
March 2010 (3)
February 2010 (1)
January 2010 (3)
December 2009 (4)
November 2009 (4)
October 2009 (2)
September 2009 (3)
August 2009 (4)
July 2009 (5)
June 2009 (3)
May 2009 (5)
April 2009 (4)
March 2009 (4)
February 2009 (3)
January 2009 (2)
December 2008 (4)
November 2008 (3)
October 2008 (3)
September 2008 (3)
August 2008 (2)
July 2008 (3)
June 2008 (4)
May 2008 (5)
April 2008 (5)
March 2008 (4)
February 2008 (5)
January 2008 (3)
December 2007 (2)
November 2007 (5)
October 2007 (4)
September 2007 (4)
August 2007 (5)
July 2007 (4)
June 2007 (4)
May 2007 (5)
Patrol

Why Did Ezell Ford Attack LAPD Officers?

New information sheds light on Ezell Ford's motivation for trying to take away an LAPD officer's duty pistol.

July 09, 2015  |  by Los Angeles Police Protective League

Over the last several weeks, there has been a great deal of public discussion about the Ezell Ford incident, with people offering their opinions on the officers’ actions and Ford’s background and behavior that evening. Opinions may differ, but all should be tethered to the facts.

First, Ford had a history of mental health issues. According to court records, in September 2011, a Santa Barbara judge found Ford incompetent to stand trial for stealing a car, and confined him to a mental hospital for several months. Among the most difficult situations police officers encounter is when they confront mentally ill suspects, who often display furtive or erratic behaviors and fail to respond to officers’ commands in a calm and rational manner. Ford’s mental illness provides an explanation for his failure to respond to the officers’ commands in this case and his erratic behavior in attempting to grab one of the officer’s weapons.

Second, Ford had an extensive criminal record, with a history of convictions for drug offenses, possession of a weapon, trespass and vehicle theft. In fact, Ford pled guilty to aggravated trespass as recently as January of last year, just a few months before his encounter with the LAPD officers.

Third, court records suggest that Ford was a gang member or affiliated with a gang. Two California Court of Appeal decisions describe Ford as “a member of the East Coast Crips gang,” and a 2008 arrest report references “66 East Coast Crip,” a violent criminal organization. In addition, Ford had a “C” tattooed on his face, which is another indication of gang affiliation. These court decisions reflect that Ford was shot by a rival gang in 2008, which sparked a gang war culminating with a drive-by shooting that left one man dead and another injured.

Finally, a bench warrant for Ford’s arrest was outstanding at the time of his interaction with the LAPD officers. Ford had previously been convicted of stealing a car in Santa Barbara court, and was on probation in January of last year when he pleaded guilty to trespass in Los Angeles court. As a result, the Santa Barbara court revoked Ford’s probation and issued a warrant for his arrest.

All of these factors—Ford’s history of mental illness, a lengthy criminal history, gang affiliation and an outstanding warrant—may help explain why Ford concealed his hands, refused to comply with the officers’ directions and reached for an officer’s weapon, ultimately resulting in the officers having to use deadly force. None of these factors have received adequate attention in the press, and it is unclear whether they were considered by the Police Commission.

Opinions are heated on the Ezell Ford incident, which is understandable. But all the facts must be considered in order to make an informed judgment about the events leading to LAPD officers having to use their weapons to protect themselves during their encounter with an erratic and aggressive suspect.


Be the first to comment on this story





POLICE Magazine does not tolerate comments that include profanity, personal attacks or antisocial behavior (such as "spamming" or "trolling"). This and other inappropriate content or material will be removed. We reserve the right to block any user who violates this, including removing all content posted by that user.
Get Your FREE Trial Issue and Win a Gift! Subscribe Today!
Yes! Please rush me my FREE TRIAL ISSUE of POLICE magazine and FREE Officer Survival Guide with tips and tactics to help me safely get out of 10 different situations.

Just fill in the form to the right and click the button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.

If POLICE does not satisfy you, just write "cancel" on the invoice and send it back. You'll pay nothing, and the FREE issue is yours to keep. If you enjoy POLICE, pay only $25 for a full one-year subscription (12 issues in all). Enjoy a savings of nearly 60% off the cover price!

Offer valid in US only. Outside U.S., click here.
It's easy! Just fill in the form below and click the red button to receive your FREE Trial Issue.
First Name:
Last Name:
Rank:
Agency:
Address:
City:
State:
  
Zip Code:
 
Country:
We respect your privacy. Please let us know if the address provided is your home, as your RANK / AGENCY will not be included on the mailing label.
E-mail Address:

Police Magazine