Father struggled with mental health issues before fatal police shooting

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Monolito Ford was honored by his friends and family with a memorial on Sunday, two days after being shot and killed by police.

INDIANAPOLIS — Mourners at a memorial service for Monolito Ford, held on the spot where he was killed by IMPD officers Friday night, said he struggled with depression and mental health issues before police were called out by neighbors on a report of a suicidal man with a gun.

One friend told Fox 59 News that Ford reportedly sought mental health treatment at two sites last week only to be turned away for a lack of medical insurance before ultimately securing an appointment at another clinic which was set for tomorrow.

Sadly, Ford didn’t live through the weekend to make that appointment.

Police say when they arrived in the 7800 block of Red Mill Drive after a report of gunfire they spotted Ford advancing on them, his gun pointed in their direction, and their shouted commands did not deter the 48-year-old father of four.

Three officers fired an undetermined number of shots and then tried to save Ford’s life before he was pronounced dead.

Each officer was equipped with a body camera.

“I’m sure body cam don’t lie,” said Desma Anderson, who shared a child with Ford. “The truth will come out.”

At the site of the memorial, before dozens of balloons were released skyward, Ford’s cousin was asked if she trusted IMPD to reveal the full story of the fatal officer involved shooting.

“As previous incidents from before, absolutely not,” said Tanesha Turner. “They will not. Now they admitted that there were three body cams, lets produce that body cam footage.”

Last week, before the shooting, IMPD Chief Randal Taylor told Fox 59 News that all Metro officers on the streets are equipped with body cameras and his policy is to release such video footage as soon as the investigation is completed while sharing briefings with community leaders.

“I’ve put out a number of videos in reference to our police action shootings as a form of transparency,” said Taylor, “and we allow the select members of the community to see that prior to us putting that out to everybody and we get their opinion on what they see and what they like and what they don’t like.”

IMPD gave a preliminary briefing to some community leaders Saturday morning.

Family members said Ford was struggling with the death of his mother last year, the murders of three nephews at the Carriage House Apartments in early 2020 and the murders of four other family members on Randolph Street in March.

“Enough is enough,” said Demetri Brown, who co-parented with Ford and questioned IMPD’s tactics and whether a mental health professional should have accompanied officers on the call. “We’re not gonna jump to conclusions and the family hasn’t. My son is broke. His daughter is broke. He has four kids. Now we’ve got to take care of them to make sure they’re okay.”

Ford is the 95th homicide victim in Indianapolis this year. A number that puts the city one month ahead of last year’s record pace, though 18 homicides have been the result of three mass killings in 2021.

Brown said that while she’s been related to five of this year’s homicide victims, in a sense, all of the Indianapolis families has been affected.

“We’re all connected,” she said.

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