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Man Paralyzed by Pittsburgh Police Claims Profiled

A suburban man who was shot and left paralyzed by one of three Pittsburgh police officers is suing claiming they used excessive force and had racially profiled him during the traffic stop in question.

Attorneys for the city and its police union are defending the officers who encountered 20-year-old Leon Ford in November.

According to Ford's federal lawsuit, police initially believed he was a gang member and one officer claimed he thought a bulge in Ford's pants might be a gun. That officer entered the car as it either lurched forward — if Ford's version is accepted — or began driving away — as police claim. Either way, that officer shot Ford four times, paralyzing him from the waist down.

The Allegheny County district attorney's office is still reviewing the incident, which is common in police shootings.

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