Los Angeles Police Department officers allegedly beat a man to death little more than a week before their fatal shooting of Ezell Ford, KTLA is reporting. An officer broke his hand during the incident, Cmdr. Andrew Smith, an LAPD spokesman, told the local TV station.
Roughly four blocks from where Ford was later shot and killed, Omar Abrego pulled over outside his home and was beaten, still wearing his Amtrak uniform, on Aug. 2. A preliminary coroner's report suggested that Abrego, who had been driving erratically, was on cocaine.
According to a statement from the LAPD, the altercation occurred when Abrego "attempted to flee." The statement continued, "The suspect sustained a laceration and a rescue ambulance was requested. The suspect was transported to a local hospital where he failed to respond to treatment and was pronounced dead around 5:10 a.m."
The Los Angeles Times reported that Abrego "suffered a severe concussion and multiple facial and body contusions."
The death is being investigated by the police department, which noted that the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office would also conduct "a comprehensive review."
On Friday, a relative of Abrego's told reporters gathered at his home that the family had decided not to speak about the incident.
Civil rights leaders met Thursday with LAPD officials over the killing of Ford, a mentally challenged, unarmed black man.
An eyewitness to Ford's death told HuffPost that an officer shouted "shoot him" before three shots rang out.