Attorney for paralyzed man seeks dismissal of charges

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The attorney for a man paralyzed in a police shooting following a traffic stop nearly two years ago filed several motions Wednesday seeking to dismiss the charges against his client. 

Leon Ford, 21, is charged with aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, resisting arrest and related charges stemming from the Nov. 11, 2012, traffic stop in Highland Park.

Officers were unsure if the person they pulled over was Leon Ford or another man with whom they had previous interactions named Lamont Ford. 

According to video footage of the incident taken by a police car dash camera, officers ordered Leon Ford out of the car about 20 minutes into the stop, but he refused. One officer then tugged on his arm from the driver's side window, and then another officer, David Derbish,climbed into the front passenger seat.

The car then shifted into gear and quickly pulled away. Within three seconds, five shots can be heard. Mr. Ford was shot multiple times and paralyzed.

Defense attorney Fred Rabner has asked Common Pleas Judge Donald E. Machen to dismiss the charges against Mr. Ford for several reasons, including that Officer Derbish failed to activate his own dash camera en route to the traffic stop and that another officer, Michael Kosko, failed to activate his lapel microphone in conducting the stop.  

Mr. Rabner also asked Judge Machen to dismiss the charges based on what he characterized as “egregious conduct” regarding the delay in the prosecution turning over a critical incident review board report on the shooting. 

The prosecution didn’‍t turn the 12-page report over until July 1. Mr. Rabner called the document “exculpatory” and said in his motion that it found that the officers “did not follow policy and procedure and did not act reasonably under the circumstances, and in fact, according to the board, had the officers simply followed protocol, ‘‍the incident would have been avoided.’‍”

A hearing in the case is scheduled for July 28.

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