PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A judge has denied a defense motion to dismiss much of the case against a man who was shot and paralyzed during a traffic stop in 2012.
However, the judge allowed the defense to obtain Critical Incident Review Board findings, which have not been released to the public.
Back on Nov. 11, 2012, just before 10 p.m., 20-year-old Leon Ford, Jr. was shot five times.
Dash cam video from a police vehicle shows Ford pulling away from officers as they tried to pull him from his car on Stanton Avenue, near Highland Park.
That led to gunfire, which left Ford paralyzed. He’s confined to a wheelchair.
Ford’s attorney had asked the judge to dismiss the charges for several reasons.
The defense argued that police didn’t follow a number of prescribed procedures.
His attorney claims officers failed to activate the dash cam video on their way to the traffic stop. Also, he claims one officer failed to activate his lapel microphone during the stop.
“The report is obviously something that’s important to us,” said defense attorney Fred Rabner. “We’re looking forward to the trial where we can hope to vindicate Mr. Ford and all the truth will come out at trial.”
Ford claims he was driving away in fear, while police say they thought he was reaching for a gun in his pants.
The defense says the report is also critical of the officers, but while the report has not been made public, its conclusion is quoted in a prosecution motion.
“We [the Critical Review Board] believe this situation could have been avoided had the officers followed training and protocol, and Mr. Leon Ford followed lawful instructions of the officers.”
“Mr. Ford and his family are excited for the day where he will have a trial and he will be vindicated,” said Rabner.
Ford’s trial is scheduled for September.