PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Dozens of people gathered at the City-County Building in Downtown Pittsburgh this morning.
They were there in a show of support for a young man who has been paralyzed since being shot during a traffic stop last year.
One year and one day ago, Leon Ford, Jr. was shot. He hasn’t walked since.
“Begging the mayor to step up and make a change in our community, because it’s not fair,” said Latonya Green, Ford’s mother. “We deserve the right to be free from all the excessive abuse, force, intimidation, everything.”
Supporters gathered at the City-County Building to make a statement to the mayor and incoming administration, including an attorney who worked on the Trayvon Martin case.
“They shot and paralyzed Leon Ford, Jr. They lied on Leon Ford, Jr. We believe they hoped he would die so the truth wouldn’t come out,” said Benjamin Crump, Ford’s attorney. “But Leon Ford lived to tell the truth.”
“The criminals left a witness, which is my son, so they didn’t complete the job, and what we are asking for is simple justice,” said Ford’s father, Leon Ford, Sr.
Pittsburgh police say Ford ran two stop signs.
When they stopped him and questioned him, they thought he was another man with a previous criminal record. They thought Ford was armed, and when he tried to drive away, they fired five shots.
Supporters want the officer who shot at Ford off the streets, or at least, removed from Zone Five.
“For Leon Ford, Jr. to have to see this police officer and for us to continuously know that he is out there in the community without an investigation being complete is absurd,” said Brandi Fisher, of the Alliance for Police Accountability.
They also have asked that all charges against Ford be dropped.