Police violence and the case of Ezell Ford

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Candles burn at a memorial for Ezell Ford in Los Angeles as protestors demonstrate as people gather to protest after two grand juries decided not to indict the police officers involved in the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. and Eric Garner in New York, N.Y. on December 05, 2014 in Los Angeles, United States. (Photo by Mintana Neslihan Eroglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images) | Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Candles burn at a memorial for Ezell Ford in Los Angeles as protestors demonstrate as people gather to protest after two grand juries decided not to indict the police officers involved in the deaths of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. and Eric Garner in New York, N.Y. on December 05, 2014 in Los Angeles, United States. (Photo by Mintana Neslihan Eroglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images) | Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Los Angeles Police Commission is being criticized by both community activists and the police union, for its ruling yesterday that one officer violated department policy, but another was justified in firing his weapon at Ezell Ford, an unarmed, mentally ill black man.

In ruling that Officer Sharlton Wampler’s use of deadly force in the death of Ford last August violated LAPD policy, the commission rejected Chief Charlie Beck’s finding that Wampler had adhered to policy.

The commission ruled there was no reason to have detained Ford in the first place and that Wampler badly mishandled the encounter, leading to the fatal confrontation.

Alan Skobin is a former police commissioner and spoke to KCRW’s Eric Roy about how that decision was made, and how the process might be reformed.