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For 20 minutes police over-questioned him, harassed him, and lastly made Leon Ford Jr. another victim of police brutality, racial profiling, and what community members called “driving while black.” 

 20 minutes— 20 minutes was the approximate time police held Ford at a stop on a zone 5 street Nov. 11, 2012. 20 minutes was the difference between Ford being a black male pulled over for allegedly running a stop sign and Ford becoming a paralyzed teenager. 

What exactly happened during those 20 minutes? We will never have the full correct story. Why? The police officers responsible for Ford’s injuries reported that their collar mics we ‘malfunctioning’ (neither of the mics worked? At the same exact time? How coincidental). 

They furthermore blame Ford for things that were not shown on the audio-less tape. For those who are unaware of Leon Ford’s full story of what took place Nov. 11, 2012, he was pulled over for allegedly running a stop sign. They took his license, insurance and registration which all stated he was indeed Leon Ford, Jr. But made many claims that he was Lamont Ford, another citizen. One officer called another officer on the cell phone asking him to further identify Leon. When he arrived they continued to question Leon. Towards the end of the stop which after 18 minutes had not resulted in neither a ticket or an arrest, the police used their manpower tonteuband remove Leon from his vehicle. He would not get out, even after the officers pulled and tugged. The third officer opened the passenger side door to get in Leon's car at which point Leon pulled off, with the officer in the car. Shortly after, the car was crashes and five shots had been fired. Unarmed Leon Ford was shot. 

For those who were not able to make it to the community discussion Oct. 15, the remainder of this article may tie up a few loose ends in your understanding of what took place that night. 

“They told me he was not even there,” Ford’s mother said while speaking about the night he ended up in the hospital. “Just let me know is he alive . . . we had to file a motion for me to see my son.” Ford’s mother said she feared her family and doctors would not tell her if her son was dead or not because she had already lost a child; low and behold Ford had not died, although he lay in the hospital bed, shackled, abused, and hurt, he was alive. 

Furthermore his own mother was not granted the right to enter his room to let him know she was there. She said when she finally was granted permission from the court, while greeting her son with hugs, a police officer guarding his room demanding that she refrain from any physical contact with Ford.

While she was hurt and confused by not being able to lawfully adhere to her motherly duties, she was triumphant the he was alive. “We believe in the Lord. The Lord is with us. The Lord kept him alive,” she said.

 Ford’s father, Leon Ford Sr. made the statement, “They prosecute my son for a crime the committed.” A crime that, even though on camera appears to be the police officers fault from the first ten seconds has the chance to go justified. Ford Sr. requested that the room stand up, “Stand up for Leon, Leon can’t stand up. Stand up for my son.” 

#standupforLeon, the phrase that Attorney Benjamin Crump Esq. suggested we adopt to make Leon’s case more intimate and more personal. He made the point that we more often than not chant Justice for “whomever” but urged us to take special caution and care with this case. This is what we are dealing with under our own noses in our own neighborhoods with our own people. “I want to talk to you from the heart . . . as a parent no just a lawyer . . . as a black parent. This is our children that is being affected by this,” Crump said. “If we don’t make a change it will be your child tomorrow.” Crump assured us that Ford did everything he was supposed to. He gave the officers his license, he gave his license and registration, and he showed that he was Leon Ford, Jr. It wasn’t up to him at that point to further prove his identity to the officers who had mistaken Leon Ford for Lamont Ford, another black male who they compared the two as wearing a white t-shirt. 

According to Ford’s lawyer, one of the officers called another officer via cell phone and asked whether or not Leon was Lamont. The responding officer replied that he was unsure, the last time he saw Lamont he was pretty messed up. 

 A community member asked how long did it take for the dispatch to respond to the officers. We later learned that the dispatcher was not even contacted until AFTER 5 shots were fired at Ford leaving him paralyzed; but Ford is the one facing up to 20 years in prison. 20 years in prison, possibly for 20 minutes of unnecessary questioning. You tell me that doesn’t sound bogus. 

Want to hear something else crazy? Police reported they pulled Ford over because he ran a stop sign; however, there were NO STOP SIGNS in the area he was pulled over. Something else crazy? 
The police made this big deal over not believing that Leon was really Leon and not Lamont ignoring the fact that there wasn’t even a warrant out for Lamont’s arrest. 

So the question then becomes, for what religious reason did the police have to attempt to pry and pull Leon out of his vehicle to the point another officer entered the car via the passenger seat and Leon driving off and finally being shot and paralyzed. He was shot not once, not twice, not even three times, but five! 

Oct. 16 The Ford Family and concerned members of the community will gather at the Courthouse to ask the judge to throw the case out because of the abundance of evidence they have proving that the officers violated many policies. He is so far being charged and could possible face 20 years in prison for the following charges: aggravated assault, two counts of reckless endangerment, and traffic violations, including running a stop sign and r0eckless driving. 

 One more thing! Ford was not armed. 

Stay tuned to the turnout of this case. In the meantime, don’t just tweet about it, be about it! Be about the change! Be about the action of making a difference in our community, in ourselves! Below is a video of a few clips from the discussion and attorney Crump’s interview with Chantel Peterson further expression importance of the issue and also a few words from Leon Ford, Sr., Leon’s father. #STANDUPFORLEON
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