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Unarmed black man killed by LAPD, says family

The latest shooting comes on the heels of the death of Missouri teen Michael Brown, who was fatally shot by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.
An LAPD officer watches a downtown intersection in Los Angeles, Calif., Dec. 17, 2013.
An LAPD officer watches a downtown intersection in Los Angeles, Calif., Dec. 17, 2013.

Just days after the police shooting death of Missouri teen Michael Brown, another unarmed young black man has been gunned down by law enforcement. 

Ezell Ford, 24, was shot and killed by a police officer in California on Monday evening, Ford's family claims, even though he was complying with authorities. 

The Los Angeles Police Department said in a press release that it was conducting an “investigative stop”  in the Newtown area around 8:20 p.m. “During the stop a struggle ensued, which resulted in an officer-involved shooting,” the statement read. The suspect was taken to a local hospital, where he later died, said police.

"It is unknown if the suspect has any gang affiliations,” the press release says. It is not clear why the man was stopped.  

Tritobia Ford, who claimed to be the victim’s mother, identified the young man to KTLA as Ezell Ford. She said her son was unarmed and lying on the ground complying with police officers when he was shot three times.

Family members of the man supported the mother’s account to KTLA. “My heart is so heavy. My son was a good kid, he didn’t deserve to die the way he did,” she said. A man who said he was Ford’s cousin said the victim was mentally disabled and was shot in the back when he was laying down.

The LAPD told msnbc that it would not provide additional details as the investigation is ongoing.

Los Angeles Urban Policy Roundtable President and civil rights leader Earl Ofari Hutchinson told msnbc that he is calling for a meeting with LAPD Chief Charlie Beck over the shooting.

Hutchinson said the latest shooting raises major concerns, especially against the backdrop of Brown’s death in Missouri. He had a message for the LAPD: “Make this a priority, make this a fast track investigation,” he said.

In the press released, the LAPD said the shooting will be investigated by the Force Investigation Division and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Justice System Integrity Division.

A rally is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Sunday outside LAPD headquarters.