[WATCH] Man Paralysed After Being Shot Four Times by Pittsburgh Police Walks Again

A man who was paralysed after being shot four times by US police has released a video showing the extent to which he has recovered from the controversial 2012 shooting.

Leon Ford was pulled over by police in Pittsburgh five years ago for failing to come to a complete standstill at a junction. Police later reported he had been “driving too fast”.

According to police records, the 19-year-old Mr Ford handed over his licence, vehicle registration and proof of insurance.

But less than 20 minutes later the unarmed man had been shot by Pittsburgh police officer David Derbish, who fired five times, hitting Mr Ford four times in the chest and leaving him paralysed from the waist down.

Audio recordings from the police car revealed that officers had been confused over Mr Ford’s identity, despite all the paperwork he gave them later proving to be correct.

Police body-microphones were not working during the arrest, but film of the interaction shows Mr Derbish get inside the car with Mr Ford, and the car suddenly moving off with the officer inside.

After six seconds shots were fired and the car crashed, resulting in the dislocation of the policeman’s thumb.

Later, Mr Derbish testified that Mr Ford had a “mysterious bulge” in his trousers that he thought was a gun. So in an effort to “stop the threat”, he drew his gun and fired five times.

The officers’ actions were later found to have been in violation of police procedures, namely for not wearing working audio equipment, for reaching into the suspect’s car while the engine was running, and the decision to shoot while the car was moving.

Mr Ford was initially charged with aggravated assault and several lesser charges including endangering police officers and resisting arrest.

Speaking to Vice in 2015, Mr Ford said: “Just imagine being shot, waking up, and finding out you’re paralysed, then finding out you’re being charged, you’re facing a lot of years in prison.”

Mr Ford was found not guilty of aggravated assault in September 2014, and all other charges against him were subsequently dropped.

He has founded an organisation called Leon Ford Speaks, through which he speaks to businesses, colleges and schools about his experience, how best to deal with police and avoid confrontation.

He is releasing a book called Untold: Testimony and Guide to Overcoming Adversity, which will be released on 11 November this year, exactly five years since the shooting.

Source: http://www.independent.co.uk