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LAPD Accused Of Shooting Unarmed, "Mentally Challenged" Man

The Los Angeles Police Department said the man was shot after he was involved in a struggle with officers. His family said he died while he was on the ground, complying with officers' orders.

Posted on August 13, 2014, at 7:00 p.m. ET

A 25-year-old man died after he was shot by police in South L.A. Monday night, sparking plans of protests in front of police headquarters.

Ezell Ford, described as "mentally challenged" by his family members, was not armed when he was walking in the 200 block of West 65th Street around 8:20 p.m. Monday.

According to police, officers stopped their patrol car and got out to talk to Ford, who was on the sidewalk. He looked at them, continued walking and made "suspicious movements" that included concealing his hands, police said.

As officers approached him, he turned and grabbed one of them, police said. In the struggle, they fell to the ground and Ford tried to take the officer's gun from its holster. The other officer fired, and the officer on the ground also fired his back-up weapon, police said.

Ford was handcuffed, and the officers called an ambulance. He was taken to a hospital, where he later died.

Witnesses said, however, that Ford was complying with instructions while he was on the ground. He was shot multiple times in the back, they said.

The LAPD's Force Investigation Division is reviewing the shooting, which is also under investigation by the L.A. County District Attorney's Office.

Ford's death, which came days after the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teen in Ferguson, Mo., brought questions of police brutality. An activist group is planning to protest Sunday afternoon outside Los Angeles police headquarters. / Via Justice 4 Fords

News of his death also spread on Twitter, where many voiced outrage.

Family members spoke to KTLA following the shooting, including Ford's mother. "He was a good kid," Tritobia Ford said.

As the official investigation of Ford's death continues, police are seeking witnesses and video of the incident.