Mixer: How much is too much policing?

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MixerBannerWhile things have calmed down considerably in Ferguson, Missouri, in the last day or two, the people of that St. Louis suburb are still up-in-arms about the death of teenager Michael Brown.

Protestors maintain Officer Darren Wilson was not justified in shooting and killing the 18 year old, who eyewitnesses say had his hands up and was unarmed.

In the wake of protests in Ferguson, critics on the left and right say the police response was heavy-handed and contributed to violence.

Meanwhile, a similar incident is drawing protests in LA, which is grappling with accusations of misconduct in a recent officer-involved shooting.

Earlier this week, Ezell Ford was shot and killed on Vermont Avenue.

Ford was reportedly mentally ill, a fact that residents say most people knew.

Officers stopped Ford for an as yet unknown reason and minutes later – after some sort of scuffle – he’d been shot to death.

Gene Maddaus reports for LA Weekly. Kate Mather covers crime for the LA Times. Both joined us for the Friday Mixer.

Police say their job is dangerous and in the most egregious situations, they have to defend themselves. Residents in many majority African-American communities think they’re being targeted and profiled.

Here in L.A., eyewitnesses – including his mother – say the 25-year old Ford was laying on the ground, following officers instructions when he was shot.

Police say he was reaching for one of the officers’ guns.

There was a march last night down Florence and Broadway to the 77th Street Regional Headquarters.

This weekend, there’s a protest scheduled for this Sunday at 3 pm at LAPD’s downtown headquarters.