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While America was coming to grips with the "Stand Your Ground" law and its fatal use against Trayvon Martin, a young man in Pittsburgh was experiencing his last night as an individual that could walk. In 2012 , Leon Ford’s life was changed forever when a routine traffic stop by the Pittsburgh PD left him paralyzed. It is unclear what happened within Ford’s car, but surely what the dash cam captured paints a different picture than what law enforcement released.
That chilling November night, Ford was pulled over for what would seemed to be an ordinary traffic stop, however what would occur thereafter would be far from routine. After being blindly “identified “as Lamont Ford, a suspect law enforcement was searching for, Ford is approached by 3 cops on opposing sides. Officer Derbish enters the car from the passenger side , while the two on the driver side reach within the car simultaneously. Ford is shot multiple times by Officer Derbish as he drives off and is left paralyzed. The DA blames Ford for his paralysis and in fact levies charges against the young father that could carry up to a 20 year sentence.
Via Bet.com :
[BET.com retrieved a motion filed by the Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. on April 30, 2014, that states if officers are in an area where there are numerous arrests for crimes involving firearms and a history of "inhabitants who react violently to officers," there is "reasonable suspicion" that an individual may be armed and dangerous.]
Although no weapons or drugs were ever found in the car, Pittsburgh law enforcement feels justified in the handling of this ordeal. Ford's attorney asked that the charges be dismissed and was denied. Two weeks ago Twitter informed Ford that the District Attorney’s office is requesting all electronic records of his social media account ( via @eastsideleevi_ ) - a move , in my opinion, that may be used to paint a different picture of Ford. Almost two years later, Ford is set to appear in court on September 2 to fight for his freedom.The charges include reckless endangerment, resisting arrest and endangerment to a police officer.
My concern is this, if this is a routine traffic stop , why was Officer Derbish needed? And in what protocol is it suggested that an officer jumps in the car with the civilian? Given the history that cops usually walk away untouched by police brutality cases , I am unsure if I wouldn't have feared for my life and responded the same way. The only thing I see routine is the suspicion of officers when dealing with a certain demographic and that police are justified in their brutality . While all cops aren't monsters as some portray, the gruesome reality is there are one too many individuals who embody the monstrous facet.
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