Community activists continue to push the Los Angeles Police Department for transparency after two unarmed men died within days of each other as a result of violent stops by LAPD officers. But to date, no information has been given.
Ezell Ford, 25, and Omar Abrego, 37, died on August 11 and August 2, respectively. Police placed a “security hold” on the autopsy reports of both men on August 15, meaning neither report will be released to the public until the hold is lifted. As of now, the LAPD has not released the names of the officers involved. The deaths happened within blocks of each other, and community outrage coincided with civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri after police there shot unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown to death on August 9.
Anger in Los Angeles has taken the form of peaceful marches and rallies seeking legal action against the officers involved.
“It’s an outrage and a disgrace; they’re abusing their power,” said Keyanna Celina from the Coalition for Community Control Over the Police. “There’s nothing democratic about a family being denied the autopsy report and the officers’ names.”
LAPD Officer Bruce Borihanh of the media relations division said the department was not going to answer further questions on the two cases and referred to the press releases on its website.
“One reason the names aren’t being released is officer safety and their families’ safety has to be assessed. The officers’ safety hasn’t been assessed,” he said. LAPD Chief Charlie Beck makes the executive decision on releasing the officers’ names.