Updated 03:31 PM EDT, Mon, Aug 03, 2020

Hundreds Gather in LA to Protest the Fatal Shooting of Unarmed Black Man by LAPD

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Hundreds of protesters gathered in front of LADP headquarters to march through the streets of downtown Los Angeles on Sunday over the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man with special needs, Ezell Ford.

The demonstrators took to the streets, chanting "Hands up, don't shoot," which is the same rally cry being heard in Ferguson, Missouri, where a massive amount of protesters are standing against the shoooting of an unarmed black teenager by St. Louis police.

Ford, who has been identified as mentally challenged by family members, was shot by LAPD officers on August 11 after being stopped for questioning in South L.A. Family members maintain that Ford was unarmed during the incident, in which police state that they were conducting an "investigative stop."

"I want the police to come talk to my auntie and uncle and my family and let them know what happened and what's going on, and what's going on with the investigation, and I want a change, we need a change,” said Ford’s cousin.

The Police Protective Union has issued a statement on the incident, asking people not to rush to judgement until the investigation is complete.

According to reports, the incident occurred when Ezell was walking along a street near his home, and was stopped for investigative purposes. A news release by the Los Angeles Police Department says that the shooting occurred after officers conducted an investigative stop in the Newton Area of Los Angeles at around 8:30 p.m. Monday.

According to the LAPD, after Ezell was stopped, a struggle occurred, and the 25-year-old man, who is black, was shot three times.

Ezell was then transported to a nearby hospital, where he died from injuries related to the incident.

"During the stop a struggle ensued, which resulted in an officer-involved-shooting," the release says. "It is unknown if the suspect has any gang affiliations."

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, the president of the Los Angeles Urban Roundtable, said conflicting accounts of the shooting have emerged.

"(Witnesses) said Ford was not resisting, that he had mental challenges, and that police officers in the area were well aware of him and his condition," he said.

Organizers said the rally is also to protest the fatal shooting by police of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown, whose death has been the subject of nationwide headlines for the protests and police clashes in Ferguson, Missouri.

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