Activist Leon Ford Jr. Learns How To Walk After Police Shooting Left Him Paralyzed

"I can write my own story." 

Nearly five years after he was left paralyzed from the waist down in an unlawful police shooting, activist Leon Ford Jr. is learning how to walk again.

Over the years, Ford has shown his progress since the Nov. 2012 incident that changed his life. Ford was 21 when he was shot five times by Pittsburgh police during a traffic stop. In a series of incidents that broke numerous bureau polices, the father nearly lost his life.

He didn't let the life-altering moment bring him down. In the years that followed, Ford has engaged in protests and speaking engagements against police brutality and civil rights for people of color–all from his wheelchair.

On Monday (Aug. 7), Ford shared footage of a recent physical therapy session that shows his remarkable progress.

"Being shot five times by a police officer couldn't kill me, " he captioned a photo of him standing tall via Twitter. "Doctor's saying I would never walk couldn't stop me. I can write my destiny."

https://twitter.com/LeonFordSpeaks/status/894550009764564992

Speaking to VICE in 2015, the activist shared some of troubles fighting for the end of oppression as well as the struggles he dealt with while trying to rebuild his life. After the shooting, Ford was charged for aggravated assault, resisting arrest, escape and reckless endangerment. The former was eventually dropped in 2015 with the jury left deadlocked on the remaining three.

"Just imagine being shot, waking up, and finding out you're paralyzed—then finding out you're being charged, you're facing a lot of years in prison," Ford said. "I really didn't know how to feel. I was in a deep stage of depression for a long time." The officers involved in the shooting are reportedly still working, with the officer who shot him on desk duty.

"When an officer shoots somebody and goes on paid leave then gets his job back, I don't think that's good for the department," added. "It's showing these officers even when you do a bad thing, you're still accepted, you're still loved, you're still one of us."

For his recent social media posts, Ford has added the date 11/11/17, in reference to a potential film about his story. If you feel like crying your eyes out, check out Ford's amazing story above and on his social pages here.

From the Web

More on Vibe

Todd Williamson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Ty Dolla $ign Releases New Album Feat. Nicki Minaj, Roddy Ricch, Kanye West And More

After a three-year album hiatus, Ty Dolla $ign released his latest studio effort, Featuring Ty Dolla $ign, on Friday (Oct. 23).

The 25-track album features appearances from Nicki Minaj, Kid Cudi, FKA Twigs, Roddy Ricch, Jhené Aiko, Kehlani, 6lack, Young Thug, Music Soulchild, Skrillex, Quavo, Anderson Paak, Post Malone, Kanye West, and more.

Powered by previously released singles, “Ego Death,” Expensive” and By Yourself,” the new album flexes a different music muscle for the Grammy-nominated recording artists who steered clear of  making club records.

“I was intentionally trying to not make club songs [talking about] hoes and *itches and all the sh*t I used to talk about,” Ty told Vulture in a recent interview. “I was trying to, like, talk about my life, and what it is now, and really do something different with it. I got a daughter going to high school this year, and she’s paying attention, and all her friends are paying attention, so I can’t talk as crazy or do the crazy sh*t that I used to do.”

Stream Featuring Ty Dolla Sign below.

Continue Reading
Getty Images

Jay Z Launches His Own Cannabis Brand

Jay Z is venturing into the world of cannabis. The  mogul officially announced the launch of his new cannabis brand, Monogram, on Friday (Oct. 23) marking his first product collaboration since becoming chief brand strategists of the Northern California-based dispensary, Caliva, last year.

“Monogram seeks to redefine what cannabis means to consumers today,” the company said in a press release. As many marijuana storefronts have implemented new rules amid the global pandemic, Monogram is also planing to launch an e-commerce sales option, “In an effort to provide a more tailored customer experience.”

Caliva and Hov opened their first Southern California storefront last year. Besides providing quality products, Hov aims to use his position at Caliva to help the formerly incarcerated (many of whom are not reaping the benefits of marijuana legalization) through advocacy, job training, and employee and workforce development.

According to the company website, Monogram uses “expert growers” to ensure that each marijuana flowers receives the “respect it deserves” in every stage of the growth process. Additionally, Monogram flowers are grown in small batches so that every plant gets “personalized attention.”

Continue Reading
Getty Images

Kehlani Plays Bryson Tiller’s Love Interest In “Always Forever” Video

Kehlani stars as Tiller’s love interest in the intimate new music video for “Always Forever,” released on Thursday (Oct. 22).

The stunning visual, directed by Glenn Michael of Toronto’s Kid Studio, is a creative take on how a relationship can become your entire universe. Tyler and Kehlani cuddle up, kiss, and hold hand in the steamy visual, prompting some fans to question the chemistry between the two. They might look pretty cozy, but Kehlani and Tiller are just friends (Tiller welcomed a child with girlfriend Kendra Bailey last year).

 

View this post on Instagram

 

🌎🎥💫Thanks Guys. #alwaysforever @kidstudio_ @ichiki @kehlani

A post shared by [ Bryson ] (@brysontiller) on Oct 22, 2020 at 12:35pm PDT

Kehlani shared some close-up stills from the music video on Instagram along with a message thanking Tiller for being a “solid” friend. “To one of my dearest friends…matching tattoos, years worth of stories, nights of dying laughter and holding each other down in the roughest times…I’m so proud of you. Thank you for being solid.”

The post was deleted after fans in the comments continued to speculate if the two were an item. Kehlani shared a follow-up message on her Instagram Story explaining in part, “I post lengthy captions about all my friends. You would have to follow me to know that.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

#Roommates, #Kehlani explains her previous message to #BrysonTiller. (SWIPE for previous post)

A post shared by The Shade Room (@theshaderoom) on Oct 22, 2020 at 11:53am PDT

“Always Forever” is the latest single from Tiller’s newly released ANNIVERSARY LP.

Watch the video below.

Continue Reading

Top Stories