TribLIVE

| News

 
Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Family of East Liberty man shot by police wants to visit him

James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Leon Ford, Sr. (left) and Mondale Ford (right) father and brother respectively to son Leon Ford Jr. speak to the media during a news conference November 14, 2012 at the St. Lawrence O'Toole Center in Garfield, questioning the family's access to their son following a police incident that left him shot three times and in police custody.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review</em></div>Leon Ford, Sr. (left) and Mondale Ford (right) father and brother respectively to son Leon Ford Jr. speak to the media during a news conference November 14, 2012 at the St. Lawrence O'Toole Center in Garfield, questioning the family's access to their son following a police incident that left him shot three times and in police custody.
James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Latonya Green, holds a picture of her son Leon Ford Jr. during a news conference November 14, 2012, at the St. Lawrence O'Toole Center in Garfield, questioning the family's access to their son following a police incident which left him shot three times and in police custody.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review</em></div>Latonya Green, holds a picture of her son Leon Ford Jr. during a news conference November 14, 2012, at the St. Lawrence O'Toole Center in Garfield, questioning the family's access to their son following a police incident which left him shot three times and in police custody.
James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - Latonya Green, holds a picture of her son Leon Ford Jr. during a news conference November 14, 2012 at the St. Lawrence O'Toole Center in Garfield, questioning the family's access to their son following a police incident that left Ford shot three times and in police custody.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em> James Knox | Pittsburgh Tribune-Review</em></div>Latonya Green, holds a picture of her son Leon Ford Jr. during a news conference November 14, 2012 at the St. Lawrence O'Toole Center in Garfield, questioning the family's access to their son following a police incident that left Ford shot three times and in police custody.
JAMES KNOX | TRIB TOTAL MEDIA - Leon Ford's 2012 graduation photo
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>JAMES KNOX  |  TRIB TOTAL MEDIA</em></div>Leon Ford's 2012 graduation photo

Email Newsletters

Click here to sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

'American Coyotes' Series

Traveling by Jeep, boat and foot, Tribune-Review investigative reporter Carl Prine and photojournalist Justin Merriman covered nearly 2,000 miles over two months along the border with Mexico to report on coyotes — the human traffickers who bring illegal immigrants into the United States. Most are Americans working for money and/or drugs. This series reports how their operations have a major impact on life for residents and the environment along the border — and beyond.

By Margaret Harding
Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, 12:32 p.m.
 

Friends and family of a man a Pittsburgh police officer shot during a traffic stop said Wednesday that UPMC Presbyterian staff and police won't let them see him in the hospital.

“We just want some answers,” Mondale Ford, 26, of East Liberty, the brother of the suspect, said during a news conference in Garfield surrounded by about 40 friends, relatives and members of community groups. “As of right now, there's no reason we shouldn't be allowed to be there by his side.”

Police said Leon Ford, 19, of East Liberty is in critical but stable condition.

He was charged Wednesday with reckless endangering the lives of three officers and aggravated assault on one of them, reckless driving and failure to stop at a stop sign, police said.

“For people that are in custody in a hospital setting, our policy is they're not allowed visitors,” police Lt. Kevin Kraus said. “Based on the circumstances of everything that happened, we have not permitted anyone to see him.”

Police on Monday said two officers stopped Leon Ford for a traffic violation while he was driving about 9:45 p.m. Sunday on Stanton Avenue near Farragut Street in Highland Park. He gave the officers his driver's license and vehicle registration but refused to get out of the car and began moving his right hand so it appeared he was reaching for what police feared was a gun, a criminal complaint states.

As one officer tried to pull Ford out the driver's door, another officer standing on the passenger side, David Derbish, tried to grab Ford's hand and the man accelerated toward a third officer, the complaint states.

To avoid being dragged, Derbish jumped in, police said. As he accelerated, Ford tried to push Derbish out of the vehicle and the officer shot him three times in the chest, the complaint states.

Family members who gathered on Wednesday with members of the Alliance for Police Accountability said police kept them from visiting him.

“We don't care who's wrong or right,” said his father, Leon Ford Sr. “We just want to see our son.”

Leon Ford, who is looking forward to the birth of his baby boy, was about four blocks from his home when police stopped him, relatives said. Brandi Fisher, president of the Alliance for Police Accountability, said there needs to be better communication between city police and families in similar situations.

His mother, Latonya Green, 38, of Garfield, held a photo of her son and grasped a tissue as she talked about him.

“He's a very charismatic, talented young man,” Green said. “He has a great spirit. He's very respectful.”

She said Leon Ford's father called her when he didn't come home that night, and she called around until she learned his car had been impounded.

“We found out everything on our own,” Green said. “No one contacted us. We ran everywhere trying to find where he was.”

Margaret Harding is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8519 or mharding@tribweb.com. Staff writer Michael Hasch contributed to this report.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.

 

 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Inside the Steelers: Rookie linebacker Chickillo continues to excel
  2. Police: Escaped Armstrong County inmate armed, dangerous homicide suspect
  3. Stocks bounce back from big losses to close relatively flat
  4. Pirates acquire Soria from Tigers
  5. NFL notebook: Brady’s lawsuit will be heard in New York
  6. Turkey aims guns at Kurdish rebels
  7. Fashion FYI: RAW: Pittsburgh showcase features over 40 artists
  8. Passing the illegals buck
  9. Athletes from Greensburg YMCA competing at USA Track & Field nationals
  10. McKnight Road, Susan Drive among areas targeted in Burrell paving
  11. Pirates notebook: Blanton introduced; Worley designated for assignment