The family members of a Black man fatally shot by Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies on Monday decried the shooting death and are demanding justice after the killing spurred a fresh round of demonstrations.
Dijon Kizzee, 29, was fatally shot after deputies attempted to stop him for an alleged bicycle violation. The department has not said what that violation was.
Ben Crump, the civil rights attorney who represents Kizzee's family and the families of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Jacob Blake, said Kizzee was shot more than 20 times, then his body was left on the street for several hours.
A protester holds a sign with a picture of Dijon Kizzee, a Black man who died after being shot by deputies of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department on Monday in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Christian Monterrosa)
The sheriff's department said Kizzee was riding his bike around 3:15 p.m. when two deputies drove past and noticed he was in violation of vehicle codes. When they tried to contact him, Kizzee dropped the bike and ran, authorities said.
After a short foot chase, the deputies caught him and a scuffle ensued. Kizzee dropped some clothes he was holding and deputies spotted a handgun, authorities said. They opened fire and Kizzee was struck several times.
“Our suspect was holding some items of clothing in his hands, punched one of the officers in the face and then dropped the items in his hands,” Lt. Brandon Dean said Monday night. “The deputies noticed that inside the clothing items that he dropped was a black semiautomatic handgun, at which time a deputy-involved shooting occurred.”
The deputies were not equipped with body cameras at the time of the shooting. The incident immediately prompted backlash, raising questions about why the deputies felt the need to address a minor bicycle violation and why so many shots were supposedly fired.
Protesters clash with deputies of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department during protests following the death of Dijon Kizzee on Aug. 31, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Christian Monterrosa)
“They say he ran, dropped clothes and handgun,” Crump tweeted. “He didn’t pick it up, but cops shot him in the back 20+ times then left him for hours.”
Kizzee's relatives told reporters on Tuesday he was carrying a weapon but never brandished it at deputies.
“Right now I’m sad and I’m mad at the same time” Fletcher Fair, Kizzee’s aunt, told reporters at a Tuesday news conference, according to the Los Angeles Times. “Why us? We are tired. We are absolutely tired.”
Najee Ali, a community activist, said the family plans an independent autopsy, the Times reported. Sheriff Alex Villanueva offered condolences Tuesday and noted that Kizzee has a cousin who works in the department.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, and that includes a member of my own department who is a cousin of the deceased,” he said, while on a phone call with the Board of Supervisors.
Balloons, candles and flowers are left on Tuesday as a memorial for Dijon Kizzee where he was fatally shot by Los Angeles sheriff’s deputies the day before in the Westmont section of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Stefanie Dazio)
Kizzee's death is the most recent police shooting of a Black man and came days after the shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wis, and during a nationwide reckoning over police brutality and racism. Hundreds of demonstrators marched Monday night to the sheriff's station demanding justice and engaged in a standoff with deputies outside.
“The police kill another Black man, another Black person, we’re tired of the injustice, we’re tired of the police brutality, we’re tired of being looked upon as fourth-class citizens, we’re tired of just not being treated equally,” Raheem Taylor, a protester, told KCBS-TV.