Photo credit: Harrison Jones/Post-Gazette
In a case of mistaken identity, then 19-year-old Leon Ford Jr. was left paralyzed after being shot five times by a Pittsburgh police officer during a traffic stop in November of 2012. Now six years later, Ford has announced his bid to run for Pittsburgh City Council.
"Proud to announce that I will be running for city council in the same district that I was raised—and shot by a police officer," Ford wrote in an Instagram post. "I am excited to embark on this new journey. My life has been a true testimony of tragedy to triumph."
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Proud to announce that I will be running for city council in the same district that I was raised—and shot by a police officer. I am excited to embark on this new journey. My life has been a true testimony of tragedy to triumph. This is for all of the children struggling. GOD gives his hardest battles to his strongest soldiers. I remember being looked over by leadership as if I was a peasant. Their lack of support did not discourage me—It encouraged me. Now they realize that they’re in the presence of a true King! #VoteforLeonFord @voteleonford
With Reverend Ricky Burgess' current term expiring at the end of next year, Ford, who has since become an activist, author, and motivational speaker, hopes to represent District 9. He expressed in a statement:
"As one of the only voices in our city bold enough to stand up for everyday people and speak truth to power, I am proud to officially share my candidacy. Our campaign will focus on restoring hope in our neighborhoods, creating new economic opportunities for our residents and healing one another to make all of our communities safe, vibrant, prosperous and livable for all."
Ford is set to officially launch his campaign on November 11 and he's asking the city of Pittsburgh to be "bold, courageous and resilient" with him.