Two Los Angeles cops who shot an unarmed black man in 2014 are suing over racial discrimination, Reuters reports.
Both officers Sharlton Wampler and Antonio Villegas are alleging racial retaliation over not being allowed to return to the field after the shooting death of 25-year-old Ezell Ford, who is mentally disabled.
In court papers filed on Wednesday, Wampler, who is white, and Villegas, who is Latino, accuse supervisors of denying their requests to return to the field due to their race and the race of Ford.
Also, the lawsuit alleges that the officers have been denied transfers and overtime because of their race.
In a unanimous vote, the Los Angeles Police Department determined that “one of the officers involved in the shooting acted against police department policy throughout the confrontation with Ezell: from how he approached Ezell, to how he scuffled with him, to how he drew his gun, to the shooting,” CNN reported in 2015.
The two officers confronted Ford on August 11, 2014 as he walked through his neighborhood.
L.A. Cops Who Shot Unarmed Black Man Sue Over Racial Discrimation
Officer Wampler told investigators that he wanted to talk to Ford, but Ford kept walking. Wampler said the area was known for gang and drug activity and that was reason enough to stop Ford. Wampler said when he caught up with Ford and touched him on the shoulder, Ford began to tackle him.
Ford ended up on top of Wampler and Villegas fired twice, fatally wounding Ford.
If Wampler and Villegas are successful in their lawsuit, it would not be the first time that cops have been rewarded for shooting a black man. A jury awarded nearly 4 million dollars to two Los Angeles cops who gunned down an unarmed, autistic black man in 2010.